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This volume continues the series of 
Pettigrew documents that began with 
volume I, containing papers of the Rever- 
end Charles Pettigrew, first elected bishop 
of the Episcopal Diocese in North Caro- 
lina. The Pettigrew family has had distin- 
guished members in both North Carolina 
and South Carolina, among them Confed 
erate Brigadier General James Johnstc r/ 
Pettigrew, grandson of Charles Pettigre , 
His correspondence will appear in I v; 
third book in the series. 

Volume II presents selected lettez ; of 
Ebenezer Pettigrew, the son of Clu rles 
Pettigrew and a successful planter m Tyr- 
rell County. Ebenezer's wife, Ann Blount 
Shepard Pettigrew, spent part of each year 
with her family in New Bern, resul (:mg in a 
voluminous correspondence betv/e an hus- 
band and wife. Their letters are ['lied with 
humor and pathos and illustrate the con- 
trast between the loneliness )( life at 
Bonarva plantation and the liveliness of 
New Bern society. 

After the death of his wife in 1830, the 
grief-stricken Ebenezer sent his children 
away to school or to live with relatives and 
devoted himself to agricultural pursuits. 
His correspondence with family a rsd friends 
reveals his dismal emotional state, as well 
as describing activities on his pla stations. 
Because Ebenezer served a term in Con- 
gress during this period, some oi the doc- 
uments give insight into the politics of the 

The Pettigrew Papers is a social history 
and will be of great interest to tli \>e in 
search of documentary materials concern- 
ing antebellum plantation manager we v\t, 
commerce, economic conditions, health a nd 
medicine, child rearing, education, tra v\ 1, 
and social life. The series presents 
detailed firsthand account of the lives c \ 
members of a fascinating North Carolina 

Cover portraits: Ebenezer Pettigrew and his wife, 
Ann Blount Shepard Pettigrew 


OCT 5 1988 

N.C. Si^^rajBRAHY 

Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2011 with funding from 

LYRASIS members and Sloan Foundation 


Ebenezer Pettigrew (1783-1848), of Tyrrell County, was a planter, state senator, 
and United States congressman. Photograph of a portrait from the Southern 
Historical Collection, University of North Carolina Library, Chapel Hill. 

The Pettigrew Papers 

Volume II 

Edited by 
Sarah McCulloh Lemmon 


North CaroHna Department of Cultural Resources 

Division of Archives and History 


Copyright, 1988, by the North CaroHna Division of Archives and History 


Patric Dorsey 


William S. Price, Jr. 

Lawrence G. Misenheimer, Jr. 
Assistant Director 


Dan G. Moody (1991) 

T. Harry Gatton (1991) 

Jerrold L. Brooks (1991) Gerry F. Johnson (1993) WiUiam S. Powell (1989) 

Betty L. Burton (1989) H. G. Jones (1989) Mary Faye Sherwood (1993) 

Ralph W. Donnelly (1993) Percy E. Murray (1993) Lala Carr Steelman (1989) 

Gertrude S. Carraway 

ISBN 0-86526-069-9 
ISBN 0-86526-067-2 


List of illustrations vii 

Foreword ix 

Introduction xi 

List of documents, 1819-1843 xxix 

The Pettigrew Papers, 1819-1843 1 

Index 619 


Ebenezer Pettigrew Frontispiece 

Ann Blount Shepard Pettigrew Following page 178 

Ebenezer Pettigrew as a young man 
William Shepard Pettigrew 
Mary Blount Pettigrew (1826-1887) 
Mary Blount Pettigrew (1750-1786) 
A Pettigrew letter 

John Herritage Bryan Following page 370 

William Biddle Shepard 
Charlotte Cazenove Shepard 
Anne Daves Collins Shepard 
William James Bingham 
James Cathcart Johnston 
Josiah Collins II 
Edward Stanly 

Crilly House Following page 530 

Outbuilding at Belgrade 




Volume I of The Pettigrew Papers was published in 1971. 
Because of budgetary and staff limitations, volume II has taken 
longer to produce than originally anticipated. Nonetheless, it is a 
valuable addition to the social, economic, cultural, and political 
history of antebellum North Carolina. The rich manuscript collec- 
tions of Pettigrew family papers in the Southern Historical 
Collection at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and 
in the North Carolina State Archives in Raleigh yield important 
information and insights on planter life in eastern North Carolina. 
Specifically, the papers furnish essential source materials for 
studying the family, child-rearing practices, slavery, religion, and 
agriculture, among many other topics. From these vast collections 
Dr. Sarah M. Lemmon, professor of history emerita at Meredith 
College, has had to make difficult choices in selecting documents 
for a letterpress edition. The skill with which she has accomplished 
that task is evident in the pleasure one can take in just reading the 
documents as part of a larger narrative. Dr. Lemmon is now at 
work on the third and final volume of The Pettigrew Papers, which 
will bring the family's story up to the death of James Johnston 
Pettigrew at Gettysburg in July, 1863. Poignantly, Pettigrew is a 
young child and adolescent in the years covered by volume 11. 

As always, the staff of the Historical Publications Section 
rendered invaluable service in bringing this volume to print. 
Kathleen B. Wyche served as the in-house editor who verified 
transcriptions, edited footnotes to conform to the section's style, 
and saw the volume through press. Sally Copenhaver assisted in 
checking transcriptions. Lisa D. Bailey proofread galley proofs 
and page proofs, and Stephena K. Williams and Trudy M. Rayfield 
prepared the manuscript for typesetting by encoding it on a 

Jeffrey J. Crow 
Historical Publications Administrator 
March 1, 1988 


The Pettigrew Family, 1819-1843 

Volume II continues the account of the Hves of Ebenezer Petti- 
grew (1783-1848), who was the only surviving child of the Reverend 
Charles Pettigrew (c. 1744-1807);i his wife Ann Blount Shepard 
Pettigrew (17957-1830); and their children. 

Married on May 17, 1815, ^ the couple took up their residence at 
Bonarva, on Lake Phelps in Tyrrell County, North Carolina. 
Because of the isolation of Bonarva and the high incidence of 
malaria and bilious fever there from late summer through the fall, 
Ann Blount (Nancy) Pettigrew spent many months separated 
from her husband by a three days' journey from Bonarva to New 
Bern, where her family lived. Ebenezer kept his promise to move to 
New Bern in 1819; but five months later, after his father-in-law's 
death, he accepted his inability to adjust to town life and, although 
he rented a house in Edenton for a short time, made Bonarva his 
permanent home thereafter. Nancy took the younger children with 
her on her visits to New Bern, leaving the older ones with their 
father, a tutor, and a housekeeper until they became old enough to 
attend boarding school in Hillsborough, North Carolina. 

The separation of the family members produced a voluminous 
correspondence: Nancy and Ebenezer to each other; Nancy to her 
sister Mary Williams Shepard (who married John Herritage Bryan 
in 1821); Ebenezer to his sons at school and to their schoolmaster, 
William J. Bingham; the sons to their father; and, later, the Bryans 
to Ebenezer. 

Between 1815 and 1830 the Pettigrews had nine children: 
Charles Lockhart (born February 16, 1816), William (born and died 
July, 1817), Wilham Shepard (born October 3, 1818), John (born 

^ Since the publication of the first volume in this series in 1971, additional 
genealogical information has been received from descendants of the famiUes 
included in that volume. Mary Pettigrew, sister of the Reverend Charles 
Pettigrew, married John Verner rather than James Verner. See the genealogical 
chart, Sarah McCulloh Lemmon (ed.), The Pettigrew Papers (Raleigh: Division 
of Archives and History, Department of Cultural Resources, projected 3 
volumes, 1971 — ), I, xiv, hereinafter cited as Lemmon, Pettigrew Papers. 
(Margaret B. Stephenson to Memory F. Mitchell, December 13, 1978.) Wilham 
Pettigrew, brother of the Reverend Charles Pettigrew, married Louise Guy 
Gibert rather than Louisa Gabart. (Martha W. Daniels to Carolyn A. Wallace, 
February 6, 1983.) Mrs. Daniels suggests the sibling order of the last-born 
children of James and Mary Cochran Pettigrew as Ebenezer, Jane, Nancy, 
William, and Elizabeth. 

^Lemmon, Pettigrew Papers, I, xiiin. 

N.C. Division of Archives and History 

August 29, 1820, and died July 21, 1821), James (born January 29, 
1822, and died October 27, 1833), Henry Ebenezer (born September 
23, 1824, and died December 3, 1831), Mary Blount (born March 12, 
1826), James Johnston (born July 4, 1828), and Ann Blount 
Shepard (born June 30, 1830), at whose birth the mother died. The 
children then were taken by relatives, leaving Ebenezer alone at 
Bonarva. Charles, William, and James continued at Hillsborough 
Academy; Henry and James Johnston lived with their Grand- 
mother Shepard and her then unmarried sons James, Frederick, 
and Richard in New Bern until Henry's death and Johnston's 
entrance into Bingham's school; Mary and Ann (Nancy, or 
Nannie) were taken by their mother's sister Mary Williams and her 
husband, John Herritage Bryan, and were reared with the Bryans' 
own children. Nomenclature becomes confusing: Mary Pettigrew 
called her father Pa, her Aunt and Uncle Bryan Mother and 
Father, and her Grandmother Shepard Ma. 

Prior to 1830, Ebenezer considered himself a small farmer. 
Although he paid taxes on some 700 acres of land in 1815, much of 
it was swamp, and Ebenezer struggled to ditch and drain it in order 
to increase the arable acreage for his crops of wheat and corn. He 
was interested in soil chemistry; machinery for sawing, ditching, 
and shelling corn; and improving his livestock. He attempted a 
herring fishery^ and a mulberry tree nursery, both with other 
entrepreneurs, and succeeded in neither. Rather, his successes 
came when he depended on himself and his own hard work. He 
borrowed money to purchase additional land, shipped his crops to 
Norfolk, New York, and Charleston, and even built his own 
schooner because of the difficulty of securing vessels when he 
needed them to carry his cargo. 

Following the death of his beloved wife, Nancy, Ebenezer 
became almost a recluse. He drove himself to increase his worldly 
goods both to take his mind off his great loss and to provide a 
competence for the future of his numerous children. Whereas in 
1815 Pettigrew owned 700 acres of land and seventeen slaves, by 
1840 he owned 8,500 acres and fifty-four slaves. His mind was keen 
and his vision farsighted, so much so that during the 1830s he 
acquired a reputation as an advanced agriculturalist, and from 
being a man of very modest means he came to be reputed a man of 
wealth. While cash was sometimes short, he never denied his 
children their needs and comforts, nor was he niggardly in contri- 
buting to the poor. 

^Settlement of Aligator Fisheries Accounts, April 2, 1822, Pettigrew Family 
Papers, Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina Library, 
Chapel Hill, repository hereinafter cited as Southern Historical Collection. 


The Pettigrew Papers 

After the death of his stepmother, Mary Lockhart Pettigrew, in 
1833, Ebenezer expanded the old home plantation, Belgrade, and 
prepared it for one of his sons. Charles was graduated from the 
University of North Carolina in 1836 and went to Bonarva to 
become a planter. He was restless, however — Ebenezer said he had 
too much Shepard in him — and invested his small inheritance 
from his Grandmother Pettigrew in a steam mill in nearby 
Columbia. Unable to make the mill prosper, Charles eventually 
became the master of Bonarva. William's temperament seems to 
have been more like that of his father. He concluded his education 
at the University of North Carolina by withdrawing at the end of 
his junior year and returned to the plantations, where he was 
gradually given charge of Belgrade. James Johnston was sent to 
Hillsborough to Bingham's school at a tender age, and there he 
was frequently in disciplinary trouble. At one time Ebenezer 
brought him home to teach him obedience. Johnston's brilliant 
mind was recognized from his early years, and after Ebenezer had 
supervised his behavior for some months the boy went on to finish 
at Bingham's academy and graduated from the university in 1847 
with first honors. 

During this time period Ebenezer and his two older sons traveled 
extensively on business, for health reasons, and to extend their 
education. Having lost his fourth son, Henry, to disease in 1831 
and his third son, James, a victim of chorea, by accidental 
drowning while on a voyage for his health in 1833, Ebenezer took 
great interest in the physical condition of Charles and William. On 
various excursions they visited Harpers Ferry; Lexington, 
Kentucky; Cincinnati; Buffalo; Quebec; Boston; New York; and 
Philadelphia. Business trips frequently were taken to Norfolk and 
Baltimore. Interestingly, Ebenezer seems to have been regarded 
more highly by his business and social acquaintances outside 
North Carolina than he was at home. 

Persuaded to run for Congress in 1835 as a Whig, Ebenezer was 
elected and served one term. While there he exerted great energy to 
keep his constituents informed of major speeches and legislation, 
much to their gratification. He also helped them with their claims 
against French spoliation and their western land warrants from 
Revolutionary War veterans. He attempted to secure funds for the 
improvement of navigation in the sounds and recommended 
suitable postal routes and postmasters. Pettigrew was a fiscal 
conservative, an opponent of abolition petitions, and a critic of 
extravagance and corruption, which he saw personified in 
Locofocoism. His temperament could not tolerate the House of 
Representatives and the city of Washington, however, so he 
declined to stand for a second term. Three of Ebenezer's brothers- 
in-law also served in Congress: William Biddle Shepard, Charles 


N.C. Division of Archives and History 

Biddle Shepard, and John Herritage Bryan. His son William 
considered a public career but did not serve during the period 
covered by this volume. 

The two daughters, Mary and Nancy, pursued the usual type of 
female education of the period. They were taught by lady school- 
teachers in New Bern and later in Raleigh, to which the Bryans 
removed in 1838, and they studied piano from assorted instructors. 
For some years they attended rather irregularly the schools in 
which they were enrolled. Then in 1841 Mary Pettigrew and her 
first cousin Mary Bryan were sent to Miss Breschard's, a good 
school in Washington, D.C., where they completed their education. 
In 1843 Nancy became a day scholar at the newly opened St. 
Mary's School in Raleigh. 

Ebenezer, as his father had been before him, was continuously 
involved with the absentee ownership of land in Tennessee. He 
visited that state twice, once in 1819 to consider moving there and 
again in 1843 to attempt to sell his holdings. Ebenezer concluded 
that his North Carolina swamps were preferable, although he 
seems to have been generous in aiding less affluent persons who 
needed a stake to move west. 

Other than the family members, Ebenezer's chief correspondent 
was his dear friend James Cathcart Johnston, a bachelor who 
lived with his sisters at Hayes Plantation near Edenton. Johnston 
also owned establishments in Pasquotank County and on the 
Roanoke River at Caledonia. An extensive correspondence devel- 
oped exchanging opinions, advice, and offers of assistance, while 
many business affairs and trips were undertaken jointly by the 
two men. 

Neighbors of the Pettigrews included the Collins family, who 
lived at Somerset Place but of whom Ebenezer disapproved 
because they were not devoted to the land and were often absentee 
owners. He seemed to feel that they patronized him because he 
lived in the swamps and worked hard. Other neighbors included 
Doctrine Davenport, Ebenezer's chief overseer; several families, 
such as the Woodleys, who lived on the canal connecting Lake 
Phelps and the Scuppernong River; an old enemy named Dempsey 
Spruill; a cousin on his mother's side, John Baptist Beasley; 
Sheriff Henry Alexander; several Phelps families; and the car- 
penter Nathan A. Brickhouse. His father's friend Thomas Trotter, 
who had moved to Beaufort County, was visited regularly en route 
to New Bern, but Ebenezer's boyhood friends James Iredell, Jr., 
and Thomas Haughton drifted away as he ceased to visit Edenton. 

The Pettigrew family was Episcopalian, but the correspondence 
does not indicate any activity in support of a particular congrega- 
tion. Ebenezer was delighted when Charles and William were 


The Pettigrew Papers 

confirmed; he himself felt unworthy to receive Holy Communion 
and declined at one time to serve as warden of the congregation at 
the chapel established by his father. Yet he contributed to the 
salary of the minister and was always hospitable to the bishop on 
his rounds. 

Volume II of the Pettigrew Papers ends in 1843. At that time 
Charles was operating Bonarva, William was operating Belgrade, 
Johnston was a freshman at the University of North Carolina, 
Ebenezer was building a house called Magnolia for his retirement 
home, Mary was finishing school and planning to come to 
Magnolia to keep house for her father, and Nancy was living with 
the Bryans in Raleigh and had just entered St. Mary's."* 

The history of the family will be concluded in volume III. 

The Shepard Family 

When Ebenezer Pettigrew married Ann Blount Shepard of New 
Bern, he acquired a large family of in-laws who played an 
important role in his life. Because of the extensive correspondence 
with and numerous references to various members of the Shepard 
family, a survey of the family is presented here. 

William Shepard (1765-1819) of Beaufort and New Bern married 
Mary Blount, daughter of Frederick Blount of Edenton and his 
wife, Mary Williams.^ Because Frederick Blount was brother to 
Ebenezer Pettigrew's mother, Mary Blount Pettigrew, Mrs. Shepard 
was first cousin to Ebenezer.^ William Shepard had two known 
sisters, one of whom, Hannah, married Captain Charles Biddle of 
Philadelphia in 1778; their son was Nicholas Biddle of Bank of the 
United States fame.'^ Shepard's other sister, Anne, married one 
Lardner of Philadelphia; two of their daughters, Catherine and 
Fanny, are mentioned in the Pettigrew documents.^ The William 
Shepards had ten children, who are identified below. 

Ann Blount Shepard (Nancy) married Ebenezer Pettigrew in 
1815 and died July 1, 1830. See the preceding discussion of the 
Pettigrew family. 

■^All other information in the above essay can be found in the documents 
printed in this volume. 

^Shepard genealogical material, Private Collections, Elizabeth Moore 
Collection, PC 1406, Archives, North Carolina Division of Archives and 
History, Raleigh, hereinafter cited as Moore Collection, PC 1406, repository 
hereinafter cited as North Carolina Archives. 

^Blount genealogy chart, Lemmon, Pettigrew Papers, I, xvi, 

^Allen Johnson, Dumas Malone, and others (eds.). Dictionary of American 
Biography (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 20 volumes, 1928; index and 
updating supplements), II, 243, hereinafter cited as DAB. 

^Shepard genealogical material, Moore Collection, PC 1406. 


N.C. Division of Archives and History 

William Biddle Shepard (1799-1852)9 attended the University of 
North Carohna but was dismissed for dehvering a commencement 
address that had been forbidden; this incident became known as 
the Shepard RebeUion.^" After completing his education at the 
University of Pennsylvania, he made his home in Elizabeth City, 
Pasquotank County, where he practiced law and engaged in 
planting, politics, and banking. He served four terms in Congress 
(1829-1837) and two in the state Senate (1838-1840 and 1848- 
1850). ^ ^ Although Shepard had been dismissed from the university, 
he served on its board of trustees from 1838 until 1852. ^^ William 
was twice married: to Charlotte Cazenove of Alexandria, Virginia, 
who died in 1836, and to Anne Daves Collins, sister to Josiah 
Collins in of Somerset Place and Edenton.^^ 

Mary Williams Shepard (1801-1881) married John Herritage 
Bryan on December 20, 1821. ^"^ See the following discussion of the 
Bryan family. 

Hannah Biddle Shepard died suddenly in 1818 while visiting the 
Pettigrews at Bonarva. First interred in the Blount family cemetery 
at Mulberry Hill near Edenton, her remains were moved in 1831 to 
the Pettigrew family burying ground at Bonarva. ^^ 

John Swann Shepard married Maria Long at the home of 
Cadwallader Jones in Halifax on November 27, 1821. ^^ He sought 
his fortune first in Florida and then was reported in Tennessee. His 
ultimate fate is not known. 

Penelope M. R. Shepard (1806-1835) developed a disease in her 
arm early in life and was in delicate health until she died.^^ She 

^Biographical Directory of the American Congress, 1774-1971 . . . (Washing- 
ton: United States Government Printing Office, 1971), 1591, hereinafter cited as 
Biographical Directory of Congress. 

^'^Kemp P. Battle, History of the University of North Carolina (Raleigh: 
Edwards and Broughton, 2 volumes, 1907, 1912), 1, 236-239, hereinafter cited as 
Battle, History of the University. 

^^Biographical Directory of Congress, 1591. 

i^Battle, History of the University, I, 824. 

^^Ashe, Biographical History, VII, 424. William Biddle Shepard married 
Charlotte Cazenove in October, 1834; he married Anne Daves Collins in May, 
1843. See William Biddle Shepard to Ebenezer Pettigrew, August 31, 1834, and 
Ebenezer Pettigrew to James Johnston Pettigrew, May 22, 1843, in this volume. 

^^Bryan/Simpson Family Bible in the possession of Mrs. Jesse S. Claypoole, 
New Bern, typescript at North Carolina Archives, hereinafter cited as Bryan 
Family Bible; Parish Register of Christ Church, New Bern, typescript at North 
Carolina Archives, Marriages, 128; Carolina Centinel (New Bern), December 
22, 1821. 

^■^Lemmon, Pettigrew Papers, 1, 630-631; Ebenezer Pettigrew to Mary Williams 
Bryan, August 24, 1830, in this volume. 

^^Carolina Centinel (New Bern), December 8, 1821. The middle name of 
Swann is given in Shepard genealogical material, Moore Collection, PC 1406. 

^ ^ Works Progress Administration Cemetery Index, North Carolina Archives. 


The Pettigrew Papers 

became a Roman Catholic, although the rest of the family was 
Episcopalian. 1^ 

Charles Biddle Shepard (1807 or 1808-1843) was graduated from 
the University of North Carolina in 1827 with the second highest 
honors, was admitted to the bar the following year, and settled in 
New Bern. He served in the North Carolina House of Commons one 
term and in Congress two terms. ^^ He was twice married: to Lydia 
Jones in 1830 and, after her death in 1833, to Mary Spaight 
Donnell, daughter of Judge John R. Donnell, in 1840.^0 He left 
three children: Frederick, Margaret, and Mary.^i 

Richard Muse Shepard was graduated from the University of 
North Carolina in 1829 and became a lawyer in New Orleans. ^^ 

Frederick Biddle Shepard^^ was expelled from West Point. To 
judge from remarks in the letters in this volume, Frederick had a 
highly unstable character.^^ In 1843 he was living in Mobile, 
Alabama. ^^ 

James Biddle Shepard, a graduate of the University of North 
Carolina in 1834, settled in Raleigh and became United States 
district attorney for North Carolina. ^^ His mother moved from 
New Bern to Raleigh to live with him.^'^ A Democrat, he was 
nominated for governor in 1846 but was defeated by Whig William 
A. Graham. 2^ On October 26, 1844, James married Frances 
Donnell of New Bern, sister to the second wife of Charles Biddle 

i^Ann Blount Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew, December 30, 1824, in this 

^^Biographical Directory of Congress, 1591;Batt\e, History of the University, 

^'^Parish Register of Christ Church, New Bern, Marriages, 133 (December 20, 
1830), 136 (March 24, 1840); Burials, 85 (November 24, 1833). 

21 John Hill Wheeler, Historical Sketches of North Carolina from 1584 to 1851 
(New York: Frederick H. Hitchcock, reprint edition, 2 volumes, 1925), H, 120, 
hereinafter cited as Wheeler, Historical Sketches. See also Parish Register of 
Christ Church, New Bern, Baptisms, 26, 33, 36. 

^^Battle, History of the University, I, 793. 

23The middle name of Blount is given in Shepard genealogical material, 
Moore Collection, PC 1406. 

2'*Ebenezer Pettigrew to James Johnston Pettigrew, April 30, 1843, in this 

^^Ebenezer Pettigrew to Alfred Gardner, December 7, 1843, in this volume. 

^^Battle, History of the University, I, 795, 833. 

2^John Herritage Bryan to Ebenezer Pettigrew, January 19, 1836, in this 

^^Battle, History of the University, I, 356. 

29Parish Register of Christ Church, New Bern, Marriages, 138; Wheeler, 
Historical Sketches, II, 120. 


N.C. Division of Archives and History 

The Bryan Family 

Two connections developed between Ebenezer Pettigrew and the 
John Herritage Bryan family. First, Ebenezer's wife's sister, Mary 
Williams Shepard, married John Herritage Bryan;^^ and second, 
following the death of Ann Blount Pettigrew the Bryans took little 
Mary and Nancy Pettigrew into their family circle and reared 
them. 3^ 

John Herritage Bryan (1798-1870), a native of New Bern, was 
graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1815 and 
admitted to the bar in 1819. He entered politics and sat in the state 
Senate for two terms, then served two terms in Congress as a Whig. 
In 1838 he moved to Raleigh for family health reasons, although he 
continued a punishing circuit of superior court practice in the 
eastern part of the state. ^^ Stephen F. Miller recalls Bryan as "very 
logical and earnest," with an ample forehead, intelligent face, and 
courteous manner.^^ 

John Wheeler Moore refers to the family of John Herritage and 
Mary Williams Bryan as "large and interesting. "^'^ There were, in 
fact, fourteen children, most of whom are at least mentioned in the 
letters in this volume. 

Francis Theodore Bryan, the oldest child, was born on April 11, 
1823.3^ He was graduated from the University of North Carolina in 
1842 with first honors and delivered the Latin salutatory at 
commencement. Appointed to the United States Military Academy 
at West Point, he was graduated sixth in his class, served in the 
war with Mexico, and was wounded at Buena Vista. He resigned 
his commission after the war and settled in St. Louis, Missouri. ^^ 

3°William S. Powell (ed.), Dictionary of North Carolina Biography (Chapel 
Hill: University of North Carolina Press, projected multivolume series, 1979 — ), 
I, 255-256, hereinafter cited as Powell, DNCB; Parish Register of Christ 
Church, New Bern, Marriages, 121. John Herritage Bryan's younger brother, 
James West Bryan, married Ann Mary Washington in 1831; the two Mrs. 
Bryans should not be confused. 

^^Ebenezer Pettigrew to John Herritage and Mary Williams Bryan, July 12, 
1830, and William Biddle Shepard to Ebenezer Pettigrew, July 17, 1830, in this 

^^Biographical Directory of Congress, 616; Powell, DNCB, I, 255. 

33Stephen F. Miller, "Recollections of New Bern Fifty Years Ago" (1873), 
unpublished manuscript at North Carolina Archives, 19-20, hereinafter cited 
as Miller, "Recollections." Other statements may be found in Battle, History of 
the University, I, 247, 325, 526-527, 711. 

^''John Wheeler Moore, History of North Carolina: From the Earliest 
Discoveries to the Present Time (Raleigh: Alfred Williams and Co., 2 volumes, 
1880), I, 490, hereinafter cited as Moore, History of North Carolina. 

^^Bryan Family Bible. 

36Battle, History of the University, I, 477-478. 


The Pettigrew Papers 

Mary Shepard Bryan (born September 25, 1824) was two years 
older than her cousin Mary Pettigrew. The two girls were educated 
together. Mary Bryan married Edwin G. Speight on December 3, 
1851. She died in Raleigh, February 23, 1895.3^ 

John Herritage Bryan, Jr. (born November 20, 1825),^^ graduated 
with third honors in the class of 1844 at the University of North 
Carolina. He was nicknamed ''Keats Bryan," but, according to 
Johnston Pettigrew, he was not well liked by other students. ^^ 

William Shepard Bryan (1827-1906), called Billy by his cousin 
Johnston Pettigrew, was a popular student at the University of 
North Carolina in the class of 1846. In 1850 he moved to Baltimore, 
where he eventually became judge of the Maryland Court of 

James Pettigrew Bryan (1829-1887), class of 1849 at the Univer- 
sity of North Carolina, became a physician and practiced in 

Elizabeth Herritage Bryan (born January 15, 1831), referred to 
as Betsy, was about the same age as Ann Blount Shepard 
Pettigrew, and the two girls were educated together. Elizabeth 
married Kenelm H. Lewis in 1856."^^ 

Charles Shepard Bryan (1832-1876), class of 1852 at the Univer- 
sity of North Carolina, was living in Cassville, Missouri, at the 
time of his death. "^^ 

Octauia Maria Bryan was born April 18, 1834. In 1855 she 
married John C. Winder.'*^ 

Henry Rauenscroft Bryan (1836-1919), class of 1856 at the 
University of North Carolina, became a lawyer and, after the Civil 
War, a superior court judge in New Bern. He was not a robust 
person but had a physical disability of some sort. He married Mary 
Biddle Norcott; their son John Norcott Bryan became ill while the 
family fled from the Union attack on New Bern in 1862 and died 
within a few days. The Bryans had at least eight other children: 
Sarah Frances, Frederick Charles, Mary Norcott, Henry Ravens- 
croft, Jr., Shepard, Kate, Margaret Shepard, and Isabel Constance."^^ 

^^Bryan Family Bible; Parish Register of Christ Church, Raleigh, 210. 

^^Bryan Family Bible. 

39James Johnston Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew, July 27, 1843, in this 
volume; Battle, History of the University, I, 586, 799. 

40Bryan Family Bible; Powell, DNCB, I, 264; James Johnston Pettigrew to 
Ebenezer Pettigrew, July 27, 1843, in this volume. 

"^^Bryan Family Bible; Battle, History of the University, I, 802. 

''^Bryan Family Bible; Parish Register of Christ Church, Raleigh, 213. 

"•^Bryan Family Bible; Battle, History of the University, I, 803. 

''^Bryan Family Bible; Parish Register of Christ Church, New Bern, 
Baptisms, 27; Parish Register of Christ Church, Raleigh, 212. 

45Bryan Family Bible; Powell, DNCB, 1, 254; Battle, History of the University, 
I, 807, 834. 


N.C. Division of Archives and History 

Isabelle Ann Bryan (born 1837) was described as "a most 
beautiful babe." In 1874 "Miss Annie Isabella Bryan" was living 
in Raleigh with her mother and sister Mrs. Mary Shepard Speight.""^ 

Charlotte Emily Bryan was born January 27, 1840. She married 
Colonel Bryan Grimes in 1863."^^ 

George Pettigrew Bryan (1841-1864), a captain in the Confederate 
army, "was killed by a minnie ball under the heart" while leading 
his company in a charge two miles east of Richmond, August 16, 
1864. He had graduated from the University of North Carolina in 
1860 and tutored there in Latin until he was commissioned. ''^ 

Ann Shepard Bryan was born May 8, 1845."^^ 

Frederick Richard Bryan (born May 28, 1846) died December 13, 
1863, "at his father's plantation near Raleigh. "^^ 

A Survey of the Papers, 1819-1843 

During the period covered in this volume, the chief correspondent 
is Ebenezer Pettigrew. The collection of letters and documents is 
enormous, so that difficult choices had to be made concerning 
those items most important for inclusion. It was decided to stress 
social history: family life, customs, education, farming methods, 
slavery, medical knowledge, the westward movement, and travel 
and transportation; at the same time, perspective was retained by 
using some selections relating to politics, marketing methods, 
commodity prices, and banking. The religious element present in 
volume I is almost entirely missing from the papers of this period. 

Taken together, the letters present a narrative of family history 
during the first half of the nineteenth century. Family life is 
revealed by correspondence between Ebenezer Pettigrew and his 
wife, Nancy, and between Nancy and her sister Mary, from 1819 to 
1830. Attitudes toward marriage, details of childbearing and 
rearing of children, and discussions of food and clothing, health 
care, and social events are set forth, spiced on occasion with a little 
gossip about the New Bern gentry. 

Following Nancy's death, there is less information on family 
life. Instead, the theme of agricultural development predominates. 
Ebenezer's correspondence with James Cathcart Johnston of 

^*^Bryan Family Bible; New Parish Register of Christ Church, Raleigh, 14. 
The Bryan Family Bible typescript errs in recording her death at the age of 
three months and seventeen days. 

^^Bryan Family Bible; Parish Register of Christ Church, Raleigh, 215. 

^^Bryan Family Bible; Powell, DNCB, I, 255-256; Battle, History of the 
University, I, 672, 719, 812. 

^^Bryan Family Bible. This line has been typed over. 

soBryan Family Bible. 


The Pettigrew Papers 

Edenton provides the best summary of his farming methods and 
business enterprises. While Ebenezer served in the United States 
Congress (1835-1837), his overseer, Doctrine Davenport, wrote him 
weekly with explicit reports of the activities of sowing, reaping, 
ditching, sawing, the health and care of his "people," and the like. 

Marketing corn, wheat, shingles, and staves involved not only 
correspondence but also frequent trips to Norfolk, Baltimore, and 
New York. At first dealing with two mercantile houses located in 
nearby Plymouth, J. S. Bryan and Thomas and W. A. Turner, 
Ebenezer increased production to the point that he sold directly to 
Hardy and Brothers in Norfolk; to Van Bokkelen and White in 
New York, and later Bryan and Company there also; and to John 
Williams in Charleston. There is correspondence with Jonathan 
Eastman and Frederick Vanderburgh concerning the building of 
farm machinery. The bulk of this correspondence deals with prices 
and quantities, and from it only letters containing general remarks 
on economic conditions have been included. Because these years 
encompassed Andrew Jackson's war on the Bank of the United 
States, the overexpansion of state credit for internal improvements, 
and the panic of 1837, there are some interesting opinions expressed, 
as well as descriptions of the effects of inflation and subsequent 

As the Pettigrew children grew up, education became in- 
creasingly important. After a series of tutors, the boys were sent to 
Hillsborough to attend the famous academy of William James 
Bingham. Ebenezer insisted on regular letters from his sons, to 
which he responded with firm directions. Bingham reported 
regularly to the parent, sometimes suggesting the need for certain 
remarks in a future letter to one of the boys, which suggestions 
seem always to have been followed. There are both serious and 
light insights into academy life, discipline, and education of the 

All three surviving sons went from Bingham's to the University 
of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, although William spent a few 
months at Round Hill in Northampton, Massachusetts. Their 
letters from Chapel Hill describe professors, the two literary 
societies, studies, monetary needs, and social life in some detail. 
Not only do Ebenezer's letters contain advice to his sons, but the 
older brothers likewise advised the younger. 

The education of the two daughters was also given attention in 
letters from Ebenezer to his sister-in-law Mary Williams Bryan. He 
often stated, however, that he knew little about rearing girls and 
abided by the recommendations of the Bryans. By the time Mary 
Pettigrew went to Washington, D.C., to school, she had become a 
good correspondent. Her letters to her brothers William and James 


N.C. Division of Archives and History 

Johnston are colorful and detailed, while revealing much about the 
personalities of all three. 

The lowlands of eastern North Carolina were unhealthy from 
late summer until frost; the inhabitants suffered from chills and 
fever and from bilious fever. Added to this were the usual diseases 
of measles and whooping cough, with occasional outbreaks of 
smallpox and cholera. Retaining medical personnel in rural areas 
seems to have been a problem, judging from the rapid turnover of 
physicians in the Lake Phelps area. Not only does almost every 
letter contain information or inquiries about health, but a number 
of physicians were among Ebenezer's correspondents: Old, 
Sawyer, Warren, Hardison, Lewis, and others. There are mentions 
of visiting other physicians, and in one case a dentist, in Baltimore, 
Philadelphia, and New York. Almost every letter to or from a 
physician has been included, although most bills were omitted. 

The westward movement, which gained momentum after the 
War of 1812, is revealed in numerous letters from William A. 
Dickinson, Henry Alexander, Moses E. Cator, and David M. 
Sargent. Living conditions, soil and crops, the state of law and 
justice, prices, inflation, and mushrooming towns are described. 
Some settlers came home again, as did John Baptist Beasley; 
others like Moses Cator stayed and urged their relatives to join 
them. Memphis, Vicksburg, central Alabama, and even parts of 
northern Florida are portrayed by migrating North Carolinians in 
their letters to Ebenezer Pettigrew. 

It is rather surprising to read of the extensive travels undertaken 
by persons of the period. Ebenezer discussed driving a light vehicle 
from eastern North Carolina across the Appalachians beyond 
Salem to Abingdon, Virginia, and then to Nashville and returning 
in 1817, which trip is described in volume I of this series. Later 
travels to the west involved a route through Norfolk, Baltimore, 
Winchester, and Abingdon and on to Nashville. Boats were 
utilized as often as possible until the "cars" began service; thus, 
descriptions of transportation by sailboat, steamboat, and railroad 
are included. In the fall of 1838, Charles and William journeyed 
from Baltimore to Harpers Ferry, across to Kentucky, up the Ohio 
River to Lake Ontario, past Niagara Falls and down the St. 
Lawrence River to Quebec, thence to New York, and back home, a 
journey of some three months. Details of adventures, accidents, 
and scenery are found in their correspondence. 

Many of the letters contain weather information, including 
dates of hurricanes, rainfall and snowfall amounts, and facts 
about major floods, significant freezes, and unusually high tempera- 
tures. Such data is found chiefly in letters between Ebenezer and 
his two older sons, his overseer, and his friend James C. Johnston. 


The Pettigrew Papers 

Political events discussed include the major state elections 
during the Jacksonian period; events in Congress from 1830 to 
1844; and opinions on Andrew Jackson, Martin Van Buren, Henry 
Clay, John C. Calhoun, William Henry Harrison, and John Tyler, 
expressed from the Whig point of view. 

The choice of the year 1843 as the end of this volume was 
determined by Ebenezer's retirement from active plantation di- 
rection and his settlement at Magnolia. 

A Survey of Documents Omitted, 1819-1843 

In the Private Collections, John Herritage Bryan Collection, PC 
6, at the North Carolina Archives there are twenty-two letters 
written between 1823 and 1843 that have been omitted. Eleven are 
from Ann Blount Pettigrew to her sister Mary Williams Bryan; 
seven are from Ebenezer Pettigrew to John Herritage Bryan; two 
are from Ebenezer to Mary Williams Bryan; and one is from each of 
the two Pettigrew daughters to the Bryans. The content of all these 
is unexceptional or, if of special interest, is given in other letters 
that have been included in this volume. They give ordinary details 
of domestic life in this period. 

In the Private Collections, Pettigrew Papers, PC 13, at the North 
Carolina Archives there is a wide variety of documents that have 
been omitted. Some were not used because they are outside the 
general theme of this volume. Others, such as statements from 
factors, repeat information that may be found in economic histories 
and newspaper price lists and do not contribute to the history of the 
Pettigrew family. Letters from unknown persons and single letters 
constituting the only correspondence from an individual were 
omitted unless an unusual event is mentioned. 

Commercial correspondents include Blount and Jackson, A. H. 
Van Bokkelen, Thomas and W. A. Turner, Van Bokkelen and 
White, Charles Edmondston and Company, Hicks and Smith, 
Bettner and Wright, Gordon and Townes, John Williams, Bryan 
and Maitland, Hardy and Brothers, John S. Bryan and Company, 
George S. Rathbone, John Trimble, Trimble and Wilson, and 
Williams and Welsman. Only a few examples of their letters have 
been included. 

A dozen or so lengthy letters pertaining to lands in Tennessee 
were exchanged by Ebenezer Pettigrew with Moses E. Cator and 
Alfred Gardner and are omitted. They relate to payment of taxes 
and the continuous effort to sell the property. 

Other omitted letters relate to the purchase of farm machinery, 
to carpenters and other craftsmen, and to efforts to locate better 
varieties of wheat and clover seed. Correspondents include 


N.C. Division of Archives and History 

Jonathan Eastman, William A. Dickinson, William Woodley, and 
Nathaniel Brickhouse. There are also a few letters from ship 
captains John Dunbar and Joseph A. Spruill, who transported 
Pettigrew cargo, in which they describe voyages or notify of 
arrivals or returns of vessels. 

During 1835 and 1836, after his election to Congress, Ebenezer 
Pettigrew received a number of social invitations in Washington. 
It was decided that the Washington scene has been depicted 
adequately in other printed sources, and therefore these letters 
were omitted. While in Congress Ebenezer also received numerous 
letters from his constituents, most of which have been omitted. 
They deal with routine matters such as postal routes, West Point 
appointments, new equipment at lighthouses, subscriptions to 
Washington newspapers, pensions, land patents in the West, and 
claims against France for naval depredations during the 
Napoleonic period. Frequently these were forwarded to federal 
officials, and Ebenezer kept copies with notations of action taken. 

The rest of the omitted documents pertain to either Tyrrell and 
Washington county associates or to old friends and relatives. 
Among the county correspondents are William A. Dickinson, 
Sheriff Henry Alexander, and the Phelpses, Brickhouses, Spruills, 
and Woodleys. Letters from old friends include several from 
Thomas Trotter and a few to and from James C. Johnston. Family 
members some of whose letters were omitted because they are 
repetitive and overlapping include John Herritage Bryan and the 
Shepards. As Pettigrew became wealthy, there is a scattering of 
solicitations for charitable funds and personal loans. 

The Pettigrew collection at the archives contains for this period 
seven large volumes with approximately 125 documents mounted 
in each, as well as seven boxes of papers. Documents omitted 
number around 800. 

The Pettigrew Family Papers in the Southern Historical Collec- 
tion at the University of North Carolina Library at Chapel Hill 
contain more than 3,000 items. The most common omissions from 
this collection are hundreds of receipts — of every size, handwritten 
and printed, some almost illegible, some illiterate, and for amounts 
varying from a dollar to several thousands of dollars. There are 
receipts for purchases of clothing in Baltimore, for newspaper 
subscriptions, for binding books, for postage, for corn, for 
repayment of loans, and for many other expenses. There are two 
folders of receipts and other papers pertaining solely to the 
operation of the schooner Virginia Hodges, plus fifty or so 
additional schooner receipts scattered through other folders. 

Another large category of omissions is that of invoices and other 
statements of accounts due, totaling nearly 200. There are at least 


The Pettigrew Papers 

ten statements from doctors who cared for the Pettigrew slaves, as 
well as invoices for cloth, shoes, and other supplies for slaves, 
quantities of staple food and some luxuries, educational needs and 
clothing supplies for Charles, William, and James Johnston 
Pettigrew at Hillsborough Academy, bar iron and machine parts, 
and various other items. 

Also omitted are most of the letters from the South Carolina 
branch of the family. One of the cousins from this branch, who 
later married Charles Lockhart Pettigrew, deposited in the collec- 
tion a group of letters written to her mother by her Petigru brothers 
Charles and James Louis, as well as numerous letters exchanged 
between mother and daughter relative to events in family life in 
South Carolina. 

A small group of papers from 1832 relate to the estate of 
Nathaniel Phelps, of which Ebenezer Pettigrew was executor. 

Judging from the presence of court orders and receipts, Ebenezer 
must have been the equivalent of county treasurer in 1834-1839. 
During this same time the Tyrrell County Courthouse was built, 
and there are about twenty-five documents relating to construction 

William Shepard Pettigrew apparently made numerous friends 
at Hillsborough Academy and the University of North Carolina. 
Exchanges of schoolboy correspondence and also some in later 
years include letters from Albert G. Hubbird, Dennis D. Ferebee, 
John M. Ashurst, Richard S. Sims, Augustus H. Roby, and Richard 
B. Creecy, most of which have not been included. 

Personal letters have been omitted if they add no new information 
or repeat what was written in other letters. This group, including 
family letters and some correspondence with James C. Johnston 
and Thomas Trotter, numbers close to 100 letters. Correspondence 
with John Baptist Beasley is part business and part family. Much 
of it has been omitted, some twenty or thirty documents in all. 

A total of approximately 2,888 documents located in the Pettigrew 
Family Papers at Chapel Hill have been omitted. 


The Pettigrew Papers are deposited in the Archives, Division of 
Archives and History, North Carolina Department of Cultural 
Resources, Raleigh, and in the Southern Historical Collection, 
University of North Carolina Library, Chapel Hill. In addition to 
letters in the Pettigrew collection at the North Carolina Archives, 
some from the John Herritage Bryan Collection at the same 
repository have been located and used. The location of each 
document is indicated thus in the heading: a&h for Private 


N.C. Division of Archives and History 

Collections, Pettigrew Papers, PC 13, North Carolina Archives; 
A&H, BRYAN for Private Collections, John Herritage Bryan Collec- 
tion, PC 6, North Carolina Archives; and unc for Pettigrew Family 
Papers, Southern Historical Collection. 

Most of the documents are originals, and their covers indicate 
that some were hand delivered and some mailed. Many of the 
letters written by Ebenezer Pettigrew were transcribed from his 
drafts. Some letters, especially on business matters, were copied by 
their senders and only the copies have been preserved; such 
documents are marked with asterisks (*). Only two letters were 
transcribed from copies made by a person other than the sender, 
and these are so indicated. 

The documents in this volume have been transcribed and 
printed as exactly as was feasible. Editorial insertions appear in 
italics in square brackets ([]), while inferred readings of illegible 
material are given in square brackets in roman type. [Sic] denotes 
factual errors. Material underlined in the original is printed in 
italics. Letters and words canceled by the writer but still legible are 
printed within angle brackets (<>), and solidi (//) enclose inter- 
linear insertions. A solidus separates words written at the end of 
one page and repeated by the author at the beginning of the next 

Spelling, or rather misspelling, varies greatly, and the editor has 
interpreted those words that are so grossly misspelled that they 
might be unintelligible to the reader. Superscript characters have 
been retained, and superfluous punctuation and flourishes have 
been eliminated. 

Indentation and format of the letters have been standardized. To 
facilitate use of the volume, the editor has added the place of origin 
of each document in the dateline position if not given and if known, 
as well as the date if it does not appear there in the original. 
Outside addresses have been included, but other notations have 
been deleted. 

An effort has been made to identify as many people and places as 
possible, with the exception of presidents of the United States, 
contemporary governors of North Carolina, and other well-known 
persons, such as Napoleon Bonaparte. Where the writer has given 
only one name, the other name if known has been added in 
brackets with sufficient frequency to keep the reader informed. At 
times identification has been impossible, however; the writer of a 
letter sometimes used only a common given name or surname. In 
other cases the records that are needed for identification are 
missing for the month or year concerned. The editor has searched 
newspapers, marriage bonds, county tax lists, censuses, minutes 
of the courts of pleas and quarter sessions, civil action papers. 


The Pettigrew Papers 

wills, documentary volumes, memoirs, and genealogies. Except in 
cases where the writer of a letter remains unidentified, no notations 
concerning efforts at identification have been included. Cross- 
references appear in footnotes where the editor felt they were 
immediately valuable, as well as in the index. The editor prepared 
both notes and index. 

Special thanks are extended to the late C. O. Cathey of the 
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who directed the 
typing of nearly half the Pettigrew Papers used in this volume; to 
Frances W. Kunstling, whose knowledge of Tennessee history 
clarified numerous points related to the bounty lands in that state; 
to friends and colleagues who assisted with the quantities of 
typing — Barbara H. Willis and Gayle G. Peacock; to the staffs of 
the search rooms at the North Carolina Archives and the Southern 
Historical Collection; and to Susan Marie McDonough, who 
undertook a bibliographical project in the Carlyle Campbell 
Library at Meredith College. Martha W. (Mrs. John H.) Daniels 
provided a number of photographs of Pettigrew portraits, as well 
as valuable genealogical information. Mr. Thomas Pettigrew 
assisted in identifying portraits. The editor also appreciates the 
encouragement, advice, and work of Dr. Jeffrey J. Crow, Kathleen 
B. Wyche, and other staff members of the Historical Publications 
Section, Division of Archives and History, who saw the book 
through press. 

Sarah McCulloh Lemmon 
Meredith College 
Raleigh, North Carolina 





1. Ebenezer Pettigrew to James Cathcart Johnston, January 5, 

2. Ann Blount Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew, January 7, 1819 

3. Ebenezer Pettigrew to Ann Blount Pettigrew, January 13, 1819 

4. Ebenezer Pettigrew to Ann Blount Pettigrew, February 13, 

5. Ebenezer Pettigrew to Ann Blount Pettigrew, March 26, 1819 

6. Ebenezer Pettigrew to James Cathcart Johnston, April 9, 1819 

7. Rebecca Tunstall to Mary Lockhart Pettigrew, April 24, 1819 

8. John Gray Blount, Jr., to WilHam Shepard, May 31, 1819 

9. Ann Blount Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew, [June, 1819] 

10. Ebenezer Pettigrew to James Cathcart Johnston, August 4, 
1819 [copy] 

11. Ebenezer Pettigrew to Ann Blount Pettigrew, September 10, 

12. Ebenezer Pettigrew to Ann Blount Pettigrew, September 18, 

13. Ebenezer Pettigrew to Ann Blount Pettigrew, October 1, 1819 

14. Ebenezer Pettigrew to James Cathcart Johnston, December 
10, 1819 

15. Dr. M[atthias] E. Sawyer to [Ebenezer Pettigrew], January 4, 

16. [Ebenezer Pettigrew] to James Cathcart Johnston, February 

20. 1820 

17. James Moffatt to Ebenezer Pettigrew, February 23, 1820 

18. John Swann Shepard to Ebenezer Pettigrew, April 23, 1820 

19. Moses E. Cator to Ebenezer Pettigrew, August 8, 1820 

20. John C. McLemore to Ebenezer Pettigrew, November 1 1 , 1820 

21. Ebenezer Pettigrew to Major Ferrange, March 17, 1821 

22. Ann Blount Pettigrew to Mary Williams Shepard, November 

16. 1821 

23. Durand Hatch to Ebenezer Pettigrew, December 22, 1821 

24. Ebenezer Pettigrew's Tax List, 1821 

25. Ebenezer Pettigrew to James Cathcart Johnston, February 4, 

26. Dr. James A. Norcom to Ebenezer Pettigrew, February 19, 

27. Ann Blount Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew, June 13, 1822 

28. Ebenezer Pettigrew to Ann Blount Pettigrew, June 21, 1822 

29. Ebenezer Pettigrew to Ann Blount Pettigrew, July 2, 1822 

N.C. Division of Archives and History 

30. Ebenezer Pettigrew to Ann Blount Pettigrew, September 10, 

31. Ebenezer Pettigrew to Ann Blount Pettigrew, September 17, 

32. John C. Calhoun to Ebenezer Pettigrew, March 26, 1823 

33. Ann Blount Pettigrew to Mary Williams Bryan, October 7, 

34. Ebenezer Pettigrew to James Cathcart Johnston, January 12, 

35. Ann Blount Pettigrew to Mary Williams Bryan, April 20, 1824 

36. Ann Blount Pettigrew to Mary WilHams Bryan, May 27, 1824 

37. Dr. Thomas Old to Dr. Samuel Henry, July, 1824 

38. Ebenezer Pettigrew to James Cathcart Johnston, August 3, 

39. Ann Blount Pettigrew to Mary Williams Bryan, November 15, 

40. Ann Blount Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew, December 30, 

41. Ebenezer Pettigrew to James Cathcart Johnston, January 4, 

42. Ann Blount Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew, January 10, 1825 

43. Ann Blount Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew, January 18, 1825 

44. Ann Blount Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew, January 31 , 1825 

45. Dr. Thomas Old to Ebenezer Pettigrew, March 17, 1825 

46. Ebenezer Pettigrew to James Cathcart Johnston, April 26, 

47. David Witherspoon to Ebenezer Pettigrew, June 9, 1825 

48. Dr. Thomas Old to Ebenezer Pettigrew, August 5, 1825 

49. Receipt from Pettigrew Children's Tutor, September 22, 1825 

50. Ebenezer Pettigrew to John Herritage Bryan, October 16, 1825 

51. Charles Lockhart Pettigrew to Mary Lockhart Pettigrew, 
November 12, 1825 

52. J. B. O'Flaherty to Ebenezer Pettigrew, March 2, 1826 

53. Ebenezer Pettigrew to John Herritage Bryan, April 18, 1826 

54. Ann Blount Pettigrew to Mary Williams Bryan, July 11, 1826 

55. Ann Blount Pettigrew to Mary Williams Bryan, September 1 1 , 

56. Ann Blount Pettigrew to Mary Williams Bryan, October 20, 

57. Ebenezer Pettigrew to Ann Blount Pettigrew, November 28, 

58. Ebenezer Pettigrew to Ann Blount Pettigrew, December 5, 

59. Ann Blount Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew, December 18, 


The Pettigrew Papers 

60. Ann Blount Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew, December 26, 

61. Ann Blount Pettigrew to Mary Williams Bryan, February 12, 

62. Ebenezer Pettigrew to John Herritage Bryan, June 18, 1827 

63. William J. Welles to Ebenezer Pettigrew, June 27, 1827 

64. Samuel I. Johnston to Ebenezer Pettigrew, July 15, 1827 

65. [James Louis Petigru to Jane Gibert Petigru North], August 
31, 1827 

66. Ann Blount Pettigrew to Mary Williams Bryan, September 24, 

67. William Shepard Pettigrew to Mary Lockhart Pettigrew, 
October 6, 1827 

68. Lawrence J. Haughton to William Shepard Pettigrew, 
December 20, 1827 

69. Snoad B. Carraway to Ebenezer Pettigrew, January 21, 1828 

70. Ann Blount Pettigrew to Mary Williams Bryan, February 19, 

71. Ebenezer Pettigrew to James Cathcart Johnston, March 25, 

72. [Ebenezer Pettigrew] to Moses E. Cator, March 30, 1828 

73. Ebenezer Pettigrew to John Herritage Bryan, March 31, 1828 

74. Ann Blount Pettigrew to Mary Williams Bryan, April 15, 1828 

75. D. Stone to Ebenezer Pettigrew, June 28, 1828 

76. Ann Blount Pettigrew to Mary Williams Bryan, August 4, 

77. John Swann Shepard to Ebenezer Pettigrew, September 15, 

78. Thomas and William A. Turner to Ebenezer Pettigrew, 
September 23, 1828 

79. Ann Blount Pettigrew to Mary Williams Bryan, October 20, 

80. Dr. Thomas Old to Ebenezer Pettigrew, November 17, 1828 

81. Dr. William C. Warren to Ebenezer Pettigrew, November 24, 

82. Dr. William C. Warren to Ebenezer Pettigrew, December 12, 

83. Thomas and William A. Turner to Ebenezer Pettigrew, 
December 12, 1828 

84. Ebenezer Pettigrew to John Herritage Bryan, December 17, 

85. Ebenezer Pettigrew to James Cathcart Johnston, January 13, 


N.C. Division of Archives and History 

86. James Cathcart Johnston to Ebenezer Pettigrew, February 
17, 1829 [copy] 

87. Ebenezer Pettigrew to James Cathcart Johnston, March 30, 

88. James Cathcart Johnston to Ebenezer Pettigrew, April 1, 
1829 [copy] 

89. Charles Biddle Shepard to Ebenezer Pettigrew, May 30, 1829 

90. Ebenezer Pettigrew to James Cathcart Johnston, June 5, 1829 

91. Ebenezer Pettigrew to John Herritage Bryan, September 1, 

92. Charles Biddle Shepard to Ebenezer Pettigrew, October 26, 

93. Charles Lockhart Pettigrew to Mary Lockhart Pettigrew, 
December 18, 1829 

94. Ebenezer Pettigrew to Ann Blount Pettigrew, December 27, 

95. Ann Blount Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew, December 31, 

96. Ebenezer Pettigrew to Ann Blount Pettigrew, January 5, 1830 

97. Ann Blount Pettigrew to Charles Lockhart and William 
Shepard Pettigrew, January 6, 1830 

98. Ebenezer Pettigrew to Ann Blount Pettigrew, January 11, 

99. Charles Lockhart Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew, February 
16, 1830 

100. Ebenezer Pettigrew to James Cathcart Johnston, March 9, 

101. Ann Blount Pettigrew to Mary Williams Bryan, March 9, 

102. Mary Williams Bryan to Ann Blount Pettigrew, March 16, 

103. Frederick Biddle Shepard to Ann Blount Pettigrew, June 20, 

104. Ebenezer Pettigrew to William James Bingham, July 6, 1830 
[enclosing letter to his sons] 

105. Ebenezer Pettigrew to John Herritage and Mary Williams 
Bryan, July 12, 1830 

106. Richard Muse Shepard to Ebenezer Pettigrew, July 17, 1830 

107. Ebenezer Pettigrew to Mary Williams Bryan, August 24, 1830 

108. Ebenezer Pettigrew to Mary Williams Bryan, September 23, 

109. Thomas Pettigru to Ebenezer Pettigrew, October 7, 1830 

110. Nathaniel Phelps to Ebenezer Pettigrew, October 10, 1830 

111. Ebenezer Pettigrew to James Cathcart Johnston, December 
5, 1830 


The Pettigrew Papers 

112. Charles Lockhart Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew, December 
20, 1830 

113. Ebenezer Pettigrew to John Herritage Bryan, January 23, 

114. WilHam James Bingham to Ebenezer Pettigrew, April 10, 

115. Thomas Turner to Ebenezer Pettigrew, June 23, 1831 

116. John Herritage Bryan to Ebenezer Pettigrew, June 25, 1831 

117. Ebenezer Pettigrew to Charles Lockhart and William Shepard 
Pettigrew, July 27, 1831 

118. Ebenezer Pettigrew to [Richard Muse Shepard], August 20, 

119. Dr. William C. Warren to Ebenezer Pettigrew, August 29, 1831 

1 20. Charles Lockhart Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew, September 
19, 1831 

121. Charles Biddle Shepard to Charles Lockhart and William 
Shepard Pettigrew, October 1, 1831 [copy] 

122. WilHam A. Turner to [Ebenezer Pettigrew], October 21, 1831 

123. Richard Muse Shepard to Ebenezer Pettigrew, November 11, 

124. Ebenezer Pettigrew to Charles Lockhart and William Shepard 
Pettigrew, December 11, 1831 

125. Agreement between Jesse Spruill and Ebenezer Pettigrew, 
December 22, 1831 

126. John Herritage Bryan to Ebenezer Pettigrew, January 30, 

127. Ebenezer Pettigrew to Charles Lockhart and William Shepard 
Pettigrew, April 2, 1832 

128. Charles Biddle Shepard to Ebenezer Pettigrew, July 22, 1832 

129. Charles Lockhart Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew, August 6, 

130. James Biddle Shepard to [Ebenezer Pettigrew], August 25, 

131 . Ebenezer Pettigrew to Mary Williams Bryan, August 25, 1832 

132. Ebenezer Pettigrew to Mary Williams Bryan, September 27, 

133. Charles Lockhart Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew, November 
3, 1832 

134. WilHam G to Nathaniel Phelps, January 7, 1833 

135. William Shepard Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew, January 
15, 1833 

136. Sarah Porter Fuller to Ebenezer Pettigrew, January 23, 1833 

137. James Biddle Shepard to William Shepard Pettigrew, January 
26, 1833 

138. Dr. Frederick Vanderburgh to Ebenezer Pettigrew, March 8, 


N.C. Division of Archives and History 

139. Ebenezer Pettigrew to William Shepard Pettigrew, March 15, 

140. Dr. William C. Warren to Ebenezer Pettigrew, April 20, 1833 

141. Sarah Porter Fuller to Ebenezer Pettigrew, May 31, 1833 

142. Hicks and Smith to Ebenezer Pettigrew, June 8, 1833 

143. Charles Biddle Shepard to Ebenezer Pettigrew, June 9, 1833 

144. Ebenezer Pettigrew to William Shepard Pettigrew, June 10, 

145. Gorham Dummer Abbott to Ebenezer Pettigrew, June 15, 

146. Alfred Gardner to Ebenezer Pettigrew, June 19, 1833 

147. Ebenezer Pettigrew to Hicks and Smith, June 22, 1833 [copy] 

148. Gorham Dummer Abbott to Ebenezer Pettigrew, July 4, 1833 

149. William Shepard Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew, July 6, 

150. Charles Lockhart Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew, July 17, 

151. GorhamDummer Abbott to Dr. Frederick Vanderburgh, July 
17, 1833 

152. Ebenezer Pettigrew to James Cathcart Johnston, July 22, 

153. Ebenezer Pettigrew to Mary Williams Bryan, August 4, 1833 

154. William Shepard Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew, August 10, 

155. Charles Lockhart Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew, August 
26, 1833 

156. Laurence Chu[r]n and William Watts to Ebenezer Pettigrew, 
September 10, 1833 

157. Ebenezer Pettigrew to William Shepard Pettigrew, October 7, 

158. Ebenezer Pettigrew to Laurence Chu[r]n and William Watts, 
October 12, 1833 [copy] 

159. Dr. Frederick Vanderburgh to Ebenezer Pettigrew, October 
18, 1833 

160. William Shepard Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew, October 
21, 1833 

161. John Herritage Bryan to Ebenezer Pettigrew, November 7, 

162. Frederick S. Blount to John Herritage Bryan, November 7, 

163. Hicks and Smith to Ebenezer Pettigrew, November 15, 1833 

164. Asa Biggs to Ebenezer Pettigrew, November 28, 1833 

165. Thomas Turner to Ebenezer Pettigrew, December 5, 1833 

166. Charles Lockhart Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew, December 
11, 1833 


The Pettigrew Papers 

167. Ebenezer Pettigrew to George L. Jones, December 22, 1833 

168. Charles Lockhart Pettigrew to William Shepard Pettigrew, 
January 1, 1834 

169. Ebenezer Pettigrew's Tax List, 1834 [copy] 

170. Dennis Dozier Ferebee to William Shepard Pettigrew, January 
2, 1834 

171. Ebenezer Pettigrew to William Shepard Pettigrew, February 
16, 1834 

172. Receipt for Payment for Pigs, March 14, 1834 

173. Ebenezer Pettigrew to John Herritage Bryan, March 29, 1834 

174. Mary Blount Shepard to Ebenezer Pettigrew, April 14, 1834 

175. Charles Lockhart Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew, April 16, 

176. Charles Lockhart Pettigrew to William Shepard Pettigrew, 
May, 1834 

177. WilHam Woodley to Ebenezer Pettigrew, May 3, 1834 

178. Thomas Trotter to Ebenezer Pettigrew, May 17, 1834 

179. Hicks Smith and Company to Ebenezer Pettigrew, June 24, 

180. John Herritage Bryan to Ebenezer Pettigrew, July 3, 1834 

181. Dr. Frederick Vanderburgh to Ebenezer Pettigrew, August 4, 

182. Ebenezer Pettigrew to William Shepard Pettigrew, August 29, 

183. Charles Lockhart Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew, August 
30, [1834] 

184. William Biddle Shepard to Ebenezer Pettigrew, August 31, 

185. Ebenezer Pettigrew to Mary Williams Bryan, September 25, 

186. Ebenezer Pettigrew to William Shepard Pettigrew, November 
15, 1834 

187. Ebenezer Pettigrew to Mary Williams Bryan, December 8, 

188. Samuel Latham to Ebenezer Pettigrew, December 16, 1834 

189. Joseph Ramsey and Samuel Hardison to Ebenezer Pettigrew, 
December 23, 1834 

190. Ebenezer Pettigrew to William Shepard Pettigrew, January 
23, 1835 

191. Ebenezer Pettigrew to James Cathcart Johnston, April 5, 

192. Charles Petigru to John Gough and Jane Gibert Petigru 
North, April 29, 1835 

193. [Charles Lockhart Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew], May 26, 


N.C. Division of Archives and History 

194. Ebenezer Pettigrew to William Shepard Pettigrew, June 23, 

1 95. Charles Lockhart Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew, August 1 , 

196. Ebenezer Pettigrew to William Shepard Pettigrew, August 3, 

197. Moses E. Cator to Ebenezer Pettigrew, August 14, 1835 

198. William Biddle Shepard to Ebenezer Pettigrew, September 20, 

199. Bryan and Maitland to Ebenezer Pettigrew, October 1, 1835 

200. William Biddle Shepard to Ebenezer Pettigrew, October 8, 

201. Charles Lockhart Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew, October 
11, 1835 

202. Richard Benbury Creecy to William Shepard Pettigrew, 
October 16, 1835 

203. Willis F. Riddick to Ebenezer Pettigrew, October 27, 1835 

204. Ebenezer Pettigrew to Major Samuel Latham, November 2, 
1835 [copy] 

205. Charles Lockhart Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew, November 
7, 1835 

206. James Louis Petigru to Ebenezer Pettigrew, November 25, 

207. Ebenezer Pettigrew to Mary Williams Bryan, December 9, 

208. Doctrine and Mary Davenport to Ebenezer Pettigrew, 
December 18, 1835 

209. Ebenezer Pettigrew to John Herritage Bryan, December 20, 

210. John Herritage Bryan to Ebenezer Pettigrew, December 28, 

211. Charles Lockhart and Ebenezer Pettigrew to William Shepard 
Pettigrew, December 30, 1835 

212. Joshua S. Swift to Ebenezer Pettigrew, January 9, 1836 

213. Ebenezer Pettigrew to James Cathcart Johnston, January 15, 

214. Doctrine Davenport to Ebenezer Pettigrew, January 17, 1836 

215. John Herritage Bryan to Ebenezer Pettigrew, January 19, 
- 1836 

216. Doctrine Davenport to Ebenezer Pettigrew, January 24, 1836 

217. Ebenezer Pettigrew to John Herritage Bryan, January 27, 

218. Ebenezer Pettigrew to James Cathcart Johnston, January 30, 

219. Ebenezer Pettigrew to William Shepard Pettigrew, February 
18, 1836 


The Pettigrew Papers 

220. Ebenezer Pettigrew to William Shepard Pettigrew, March 31, 

221. Peter Evans to Ebenezer Pettigrew, April 4, 1836 

222. David M. Sargent to Ebenezer Pettigrew, April 12, 1836 

223. Ebenezer Pettigrew to James Cathcart Johnston, April 24, 

224. Ebenezer Pettigrew to John Herritage Bryan, April 27, 1836 

225. John Herritage Bryan to Ebenezer Pettigrew, May 23, 1836 

226. Ebenezer Pettigrew to John Herritage Bryan, June 17, 1836 

227. Richard S. Sims to WilHam Shepard Pettigrew, July 22, 1836 

228. James Alfred Pearce to Ebenezer Pettigrew, August 2, 1836 

229. Receipt for Bill Paid to New Bern Jailer, August 5, 1836 

230. Charles Lockhart Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew, August 9, 

231. Charles Lockhart Pettigrew to William Shepard Pettigrew, 
August 20, 1836 

232. Charles Lockhart Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew, September 

5, 1836 

233. Peter Evans to Ebenezer Pettigrew, September 6, 1836 

234. Charles Lockhart Pettigrew to William Shepard Pettigrew, 
October 26, 1836 

235. James Johnston Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew, December 

6, 1836 

236. Ebenezer Pettigrew to Josiah Collins, December 7, 1836 

237. Charles Lockhart Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew, December 
14, 1836 

238. Ebenezer Pettigrew to Dempsey Spruill, December 26, 1836 

239. William Shepard Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew, January 
12, 1837 

240. Ebenezer Pettigrew to John Herritage Bryan, January 14, 

241. Edward Stanly to Ebenezer Pettigrew, January 16, 1837 

242. Ebenezer Pettigrew to William Shepard Pettigrew, January 
20, 1837 

243. John F. Hughes to Ebenezer Pettigrew, February 3, 1837 

244. Invoice for Purchases by Ebenezer Pettigrew, February 7, 

245. Charles Lockhart Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew, February 
16, 1837 

246. Richard Hines to Ebenezer Pettigrew, February 16, 1837 

247. Ebenezer Pettigrew to Edward Bishop Dudley and James 
W[est] Bryan, February 27, 1837 [copy] 

248. John WilHams to Ebenezer Pettigrew, February 28, 1837 

249. Invoice of Medicines for Ebenezer Pettigrew, March 6, 1837 


N.C. Division of Archives and History 

250. Nathan A. Brickhouse to [William ShepardPettigrew], March 
17, 1837 

251. Ebenezer Pettigrew to William Shepard Pettigrew, [April 1, 

252. John WiUiams to Ebenezer Pettigrew, April 17, 1837 

253. Mary Williams Bryan to Ebenezer Pettigrew, April 19, 1837 

254. John Baptist Beasley to Ebenezer Pettigrew, May 4, 1837 

255. Charles Lockhart Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew, May 26, 

256. Partnership Agreement, May 31, 1837 

257. John Williams to Ebenezer Pettigrew, June 29, 1837 

258. John Herritage Bryan to Ebenezer Pettigrew, July 5, 1837 

259. John James Pearson to Ebenezer Pettigrew, July 9, 1837 

260. WilUam A. Dickinson to Ebenezer Pettigrew, July 21, 1837 

261 . William Shepard Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew, August 28, 

262. James Alfred Pearce to Ebenezer Pettigrew, September 6, 

263. Charles Lockhart Pettigrew to William Shepard Pettigrew, 
October 9, 1837 

264. Charles Lockhart Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew, October 
26, 1837 

265. John M. Ashurst to William Shepard Pettigrew, November 
11, 1837 

266. William A. Dickinson to Ebenezer Pettigrew, December 18, 

267. Charles Biddle Shepard to Ebenezer Pettigrew, December 19, 

268. Ebenezer Pettigrew's Tax List, 1838 

269. William Biddle Shepard to Ebenezer Pettigrew, January 15, 

270. Albert Gallatin Hubbird to WiUiam Shepard Pettigrew, 
February 12, 1838 

271. John Herritage Bryan to Ebenezer Pettigrew, February 27, 

272. Ebenezer Pettigrew to Mary Wilhams Bryan, April 2, 1838 

273. Alfred Gardner to Ebenezer Pettigrew, May 22, 1838 

274. John Herritage Bryan to Ebenezer Pettigrew, May 28, 1838 

275. Edward Stanly to Ebenezer Pettigrew, May 30, 1838 

276. Charles Biddle Shepard to Ebenezer Pettigrew, June 2, 1838 

277. Thomas P. Wilhams to Ebenezer Pettigrew, June 19, 1838 

278. Ebenezer Pettigrew to James Alfred Pearce, June 29, 1838 

279. Thomas Turner to Ebenezer Pettigrew, July 14, 1838 

280. Ebenezer Pettigrew to James Johnston Pettigrew, July 16, 


The Pettigrew Papers 

281. Ebenezer Pettigrew to James Cathcart Johnston, July 16, 

282. Charles Lockhart Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew, July 16, 

283. William Shepard Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew, August 4, 

284. Charles Lockhart Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew, August 

13, 1838 

285. Ebenezer Pettigrew to John Herritage Bryan, August 24, 1838 

286. William Shepard Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew, September 
5, 1838 [copy] 

287. Henry Alexander to Ebenezer Pettigrew, September 5, 1838 

288. Ebenezer Pettigrew to Alfred Gardner, September 12, 1838 

289. Charles Lockhart Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew, September 

14, 1838 

290. Ebenezer Pettigrew to William Shepard Pettigrew, September 
19, 1838 

291. Ebenezer Pettigrew to John Williams, September 22, 1838 

292. Joseph A. Spruill to Ebenezer Pettigrew, October 1, 1838 

293. William Shepard Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew, October 7, 

294. Charles Lockhart Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew, October 
14, 1838 

295. Henry Alexander to Ebenezer Pettigrew, November 5, 1838 

296. James Alfred Pearce to Ebenezer Pettigrew, November 20, 

297. Ebenezer Pettigrew to James Alfred Pearce, January 14, 1839 

298. Ebenezer Pettigrew to Hardy and Brothers, January 15, 1839 

299. Ebenezer Pettigrew to John Herritage Bryan, January 18, 

300. Thomas Turner to Ebenezer Pettigrew, February 5, 1839 

301. William A. Dickinson to Ebenezer Pettigrew, February 7, 

302. James Johnston Pettigrew to [Mary Blount Pettigrew], 
February 25, 1839 

303. Griffin and Gaskins to Josiah Collins and Ebenezer Petti- 
grew, April 19, 1839 

304. John Herritage Bryan to Ebenezer Pettigrew, May 15, 1839 

305. Henry Alexander to Ebenezer Pettigrew, June 11, 1839 

306. William James Bingham to Ebenezer Pettigrew, July 1, 1839 

307. W[ilson] B. Hodges to Ebenezer Pettigrew, July 27, 1839 

308. Charles Lockhart Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew, August 
21, 1839 


N.C. Division of Archives and History 

309. Ebenezer Pettigrew to James Johnston Pettigrew, September 
2, 1839 

310. Ebenezer Pettigrew to Mary Williams Bryan, October 1, 1839 

311. James Louis Petigru to Ebenezer Pettigrew, October 29, 1839 

312. William James Bingham to Ebenezer Pettigrew, November 4, 

313. James Cathcart Johnston to William Shepard Pettigrew, 
November 15, 1839 

314. Edmund Ruffin to Ebenezer Pettigrew, November 28, 1839 

315. Bishop Levi Silliman Ives to Ebenezer Pettigrew, November 
29, 1839 

316. James Johnston Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew, December 
31, 1839 

317. Francis Theodore Bryan to Ebenezer Pettigrew, January 4, 

318. Ebenezer Pettigrew to Edmund Ruffin, January 6, 1840 [copy] 

319. John Herritage Bryan to Ebenezer Pettigrew, January 28, 

320. Thomas Emory to Ebenezer Pettigrew, February 1, 1840 

321. Margaret Pettigrew to James Louis Petigru, March 1, 1840 

322. Ebenezer Pettigrew to James Johnston Pettigrew, March 24, 

323. Mary Wilhams Bryan to Ebenezer Pettigrew, April 20, 1840 

324. Jane Gibert Petigru North to Jane Caroline North, April 23, 

325. Certificate of Appointment, April 27, 1840 

326. John Herritage Bryan to Ebenezer Pettigrew, April 29, 1840 

327. Ebenezer Pettigrew to Mary Williams Bryan, May 5, 1840 

328. Ebenezer Pettigrew to John Baptist Beasley, May 11, 1840 

329. John Herritage Bryan to Ebenezer Pettigrew, June 2, 1840 

330. Mary Blount Pettigrew to William Shepard Pettigrew, June 
20, 1840 

331. Indenture of Ebenezer Pettigrew to William Shepard Pettigrew, 
June 22, 1840 

332. Indenture of Ebenezer Pettigrew to Charles Lockhart Pettigrew, 
June 22, 1840 

333. James Johnston Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew, June 23, 

334. Ebenezer Pettigrew to John Herritage Bryan, June 24, 1840 

335. Ebenezer Pettigrew to James Johnston Pettigrew, July 12, 

336. William A. Dickinson to Ebenezer Pettigrew, July 26, 1840 

337. Ebenezer Pettigrew's Tax List, July 29, 1840 [copy] 


The Pettigrew Papers 

338. John Herritage Bryan to Ebenezer Pettigrew, September 20, 

339. Ebenezer Pettigrew to Moses E. Cator, September 22, 1840 

340. William Biddle Shepard to Ebenezer Pettigrew, September 28, 

341. William Shepard Pettigrew to Augustus H. Roby, October 12, 
1840 [copy] 

342. John Trimble to Ebenezer Pettigrew, October [1]7, 1840 

343. Ebenezer Pettigrew to William Shepard Pettigrew, October 
28, 1840 

344. Bill of Sale to Ebenezer Pettigrew, October 31, 1840 

345. Richard S. Sims to William Shepard Pettigrew, November 
18, 1840 

346. Hardy and Brothers to Ebenezer Pettigrew, November 23, 

347. William Shepard Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew, November 
30, 1840 

348. Ebenezer Pettigrew to Mary Williams Bryan, December 29, 

349. Henry Alexander to Ebenezer Pettigrew, January 6, 1841 

350. Mary Williams Bryan to Ebenezer Pettigrew, January 22, 

351. Ebenezer Pettigrew to William Shepard Pettigrew, February 
18, 1841 

352. William Shepard Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew, February 
18, 1841 

353. John Baptist Beasley to Ebenezer Pettigrew, March 29, 1841 

354. Edward Stanly to Ebenezer Pettigrew, April 12, 1841 

355. John Baptist Beasley to Ebenezer Pettigrew, April 28, 1841 

356. Ebenezer Pettigrew to James Cathcart Johnston, May 17, 

357. Mary Blount Pettigrew to Mary Williams Bryan, May 27, 

358. Ebenezer Pettigrew to James Cathcart Johnston, June 7, 

359. Hardy and Brothers to Ebenezer Pettigrew, July 13, 1841 

360. John Herritage Bryan to Ebenezer Pettigrew, July 18, 1841 

361. James Johnston Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew, July 20, 

362. Mary Blount Pettigrew to John Herritage Bryan, July 23, 

363. William James Bingham to Ebenezer Pettigrew, August 17, 

364. Ebenezer Pettigrew to William Shepard Pettigrew, August 19, 


N.C. Division of Archives and History 

365. William A. Dickinson to Ebenezer Pettigrew, September 4, 

366. Ebenezer Pettigrew to William Shepard Pettigrew, September 
5, 1841 

367. James B. Clay to William Shepard Pettigrew, September 15, 

368. Ebenezer Pettigrew to James Cathcart Johnston, September 
15, 1841 

369. Francis Theodore Bryan to William Shepard Pettigrew, 
October 17, 1841 

370. John Herritage Bryan to Ebenezer Pettigrew, October 28, 

371. Henry Clay to Ebenezer Pettigrew, November 10, 1841 

372. Thomas Turner to Ebenezer Pettigrew, November 20, 1841 

373. Ebenezer Pettigrew to William Shepard Pettigrew, November 
21, 1841 

374. William James Bingham to Ebenezer Pettigrew, December 1, 

375. Ebenezer Pettigrew to James Cathcart Johnston, December 
21, 1841 

376. Thomas Turner to Ebenezer Pettigrew, December 28, 1841 

377. John Herritage Bryan to Ebenezer Pettigrew, January 1, 1842 

378. Stevens S. Conner to Ebenezer Pettigrew, January 2, 1842 

379. [Ebenezer Pettigrew to William James Bingham], January 5, 
1842 [copy] 

380. William James Bingham to Ebenezer Pettigrew, January 10, 

381 . Ebenezer Pettigrew to William James Bingham, [January 22, 
1842] [copy] 

382. William James Bingham to Ebenezer Pettigrew, March 8, 

383. John Baptist Beasley to Ebenezer Pettigrew, March 30, 1842 

384. Carmichael, Fairbanks and Company to Ebenezer Pettigrew, 
April 15, 1842 

385. Charles Aldis to Ebenezer Pettigrew, April 16, 1842 

386. Ebenezer Pettigrew to James Cathcart Johnston, April 18, 

387. Henry Clay to Ebenezer Pettigrew, June 1, 1842 

388. Mary Blount Pettigrew to James Johnston Pettigrew, June 3, 

389. Mary Blount Pettigrew to James Johnston Pettigrew, June 
23, 1842 

390. Charles Aldis to Ebenezer Pettigrew, July 6, 1842 

391. Ebenezer Pettigrew to James Cathcart Johnston, July 19, 


The Pettigrew Papers 

392. Mary Williams Bryan to Ebenezer Pettigrew, July 27, 1842 

393. Ebenezer Pettigrew to Charles Lockhart and William Shepard 
Pettigrew, August 2, 1842 

394. Ebenezer Pettigrew to Charles Lockhart and William Shepard 
Pettigrew, August 14, 1842 

395. Ebenezer Pettigrew to Charles Lockhart and William Shepard 
Pettigrew, August 22, 1842 

396. Doctrine Davenport to Ebenezer Pettigrew, August 30, 1842 

397. William Shepard Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew, September 
6, 1842 

398. Ebenezer Pettigrew to Charles Lockhart and William Shepard 
Pettigrew, September 12, 1842 

399. Ebenezer Pettigrew to James Cathcart Johnston, September 
24, 1842 

400. William Shepard Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew, September 
27, 1842 

401. William Shepard Pettigrew to James Johnston Pettigrew, 
October 4, 1842 

402. Ebenezer Pettigrew to Charles Lockhart and William Shepard 
Pettigrew, October 15, 1842 

403. Ebenezer Pettigrew to Charles Lockhart and William Shepard 
Pettigrew, October 21, 1842 

404. Ebenezer Pettigrew to James Cathcart Johnston, November 
1, 1842 

405. Ebenezer Pettigrew to James Cathcart Johnston, November 
15, 1842 

406. Mary Blount Pettigrew to William Shepard Pettigrew, 
November 21, [1842] 

407. Mary Blount Pettigrew to William Shepard Pettigrew, 
December 22, [1842] 

408. Ebenezer Pettigrew to James Cathcart Johnston, January 17, 

409. William A. Dickinson to Ebenezer Pettigrew, January 21, 

410. Mary Blount Pettigrew to James Johnston Pettigrew, January 

23, 1843 

411. Caroline E. Bateman to Ebenezer Pettigrew, January 25, 

412. Ebenezer Pettigrew to Caroline E. Bateman, January 26, 
1843 [copy] 

413. Ebenezer Pettigrew to William Shepard Pettigrew, February 
3, 1843 

414. Ebenezer Pettigrew to James Cathcart Johnston, February 

24, 1843 [copy] 


N.C. Division of Archives and History 

415. Mary Blount Pettigrew to James Johnston Pettigrew, March 
28, 1843 

416. John Herritage Bryan to Ebenezer Pettigrew, April 1, 1843 

417. Joshua Skinner to Ebenezer Pettigrew, April 24, 1843 

418. Ebenezer Pettigrew to James Johnston Pettigrew, April 30, 

419. Hardy and Brothers to Ebenezer Pettigrew, May 19, 1843 

420. William Shepard Pettigrew to Mary Blount Pettigrew, May 
20, 1843 

421. Ebenezer Pettigrew to James Johnston Pettigrew, May 22, 

422. Thomas Turner to Ebenezer Pettigrew, June 7, 1843 

423. Henry Alexander to Ebenezer Pettigrew, June 21, 1843 

424. Jesse Alexander to Ebenezer Pettigrew, July 10, 1843 

425. Ebenezer Pettigrew to Charles Lockhart and William Shepard 
Pettigrew, July 23, 1843 

426. James Johnston Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew, July 27, 

427. William Shepard Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew, August 2, 

428. James Alfred Pearce to Ebenezer Pettigrew, August 7, 1843 

429. Mary Blount Pettigrew to James Johnston Pettigrew, August 
10, [1843] 

430. Ebenezer Pettigrew to John Herritage Bryan, August 15, 1843 

431. Henry Alexander to Ebenezer Pettigrew, August 20, 1843 

432. John Herritage Bryan to Ebenezer Pettigrew, August 26, 1843 

433. Mary Blount Pettigrew to James Johnston Pettigrew, 
September 2, [1843] 

434. James Louis Petigru to Ebenezer Pettigrew, September 5, 

435. Ebenezer Pettigrew to Charles Lockhart and William Shepard 
Pettigrew, September 11, 1843 

436. Ebenezer Pettigrew to Charles Lockhart and William Shepard 
Pettigrew, September 17, 1843 

437. William Shepard Pettigrew to James Johnston Pettigrew, 
September 26, 1843 

438. William Shepard Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew, October 3, 

439. Ann Blount Shepard Pettigrew to [William Shepard Petti- 
grew], October 29, 1843 

440. William A. Dickinson to Ebenezer Pettigrew, October 31, 

441. Ebenezer Pettigrew to James Johnston Pettigrew, November 
1, 1843 


The Pettigrew Papers 

442. Ebenezer Pettigrew to John Herritage Bryan, November 6, 

443. Ebenezer Pettigrew to James Louis Petigru, [November, 1843] 

444. William Shepard Pettigrew to Mary Blount Pettigrew, 
November 11, 1843 

445. James L. Bryan to Ebenezer Pettigrew, November 13, 1843 

446. Ebenezer Pettigrew to James Alfred Pearce, November 20, 

447. Mary Blount Pettigrew to James Johnston Pettigrew, 
November 20, [1843] 

448. John Herritage Bryan to Ebenezer Pettigrew, November 26, 

449. Ebenezer Pettigrew to Alfred Gardner, December 7, 1843 

450. Ebenezer Pettigrew to James Johnston Pettigrew, December 
15, 1843 

451. Josiah Collins to William Shepard Pettigrew, December 23, 

452. William Shepard Pettigrew to Josiah Collins, December 23, 
1843 [copy] 

453. Receipt for Pianoforte, December 27, 1843 




Ehenezer Pettigrew to James Cathcart Johnston^ unc 

Bonarva,^ Jan. 5, 1819 

My dear Sir 

Your very obliging and friendly letter of 16th Nov. came safe to 
hand a month after its date, I take the first opportunity of 
answering it. If your visit to my house and view of my feeble and 
embarrassed efforts, will be a means of extending your views of 
improvement, my pleasure from the visit, though I had thought as 
great as my mind was susceptable, will be greatly increased; but on 
the other hand if your plans should not succeed to your expectation 
and be no more than vexation, I hope you will pardon me for 
having led you into a difficulty and permit me to number it as one 
more of the unfortunate events of which I am the innocent cause. I 
thank you for your friendly advice respecting the state of my mind, 
I know the folly of it, but alas! it is out of my power to control. At 
this time I write with the greatest difficulty and to collect my 
scattered ideas gives me real pain; I mention it as an excuse for my 
stiffness of diction, & inaccuracy which I know you will overlook. I 
fear my dear friend you have formed too good an opinion of me, all I 
can say, is, I pray God that I may not by some unfortunate act 
make shipwreck of it, and that you may never have it in your power 
to think that you were mistaken; I say think because I know your 
goo[(f]ness would never permit you (though disappointed) to 
expose one for whose wellfare you ever felt so great an interest. As 
for the happiness which I enjoy in my family I thank my God, it is 
without interruption. But I have no doubt you can find a great 
number who would prfer windmills, water mills or canals through 
low ground to a wife, such perhaps as they have got. 

While my dear companion was at Newbern on a visit I bore the 
seperation tolerably well, but since this is no longer a home, it 
requires all my fortitude to stay at it and I intended to set out on a 
visit to her this day, but my overseer went away on Christmas day 
and has not yet returned, consequently I must stay. To stay here 
and attend to my business is fulfilling the duty which I owe her and 
my dear little children I hope it will always be but necessary for me 
to know my duty to do it, though I should feal as if knives were 

2 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

seperating the flesh from the bones. On the first Inst. I recv^ a letter 
from Mi"s Pettigrew, all the family were well except M"^ Shepard 
who had been very ill, but was better, he was unwell when I was 
there and I fear for him. My business goes on tolerably well here I 
find the saw more trouble to keep in order than I expected. 

My poor old Mother^ has been very sick but is better, she is yet in 
an unsettled state of mind and what is to become of her I know not; 
I feal for her sincerely but am perfectly unable to relieve her 
distresses. I engaged your chair when in Newbern it will be done 
the first of Feb. and [torn] will be sent to you in the vessil which 
carries my furniture [r]ound I thought it unnecessary to counter- 
mand the order because if you did not like it when you saw it can no 
doubt be deposed of. 

I hope to have the pleasure of seeing you in this month, in the 
interval Please to give my best respects to the Ladies and assure 
your self of the Esteem & regard of your friend 

E Pettigrew 

N.B. It would give me great pleasure to know that I should live to 
see you happily married. 

James C. Johnston Esqr 

[Addressed] James C. Johnston esqr 

1 James Cathcart Johnston (1782-1865), son of Governor Samuel Johnston, 
was a wealthy planter who lived at Hayes Plantation near Edenton his entire 
life. He never married, and at his death he bequeathed his large estates to three 
friends — Edward Wood, Christopher W. Hallowell, and Henry J. Futrell. 
Although his disinherited relatives challenged his will in 1867, the North 
Carolina Supreme Court upheld a decision favoring the defendants. J. G. de 
Roulhac Hamilton and Max R. Williams (eds.). The Papers of William 
Alexander Graham (Raleigh: Division of Archives and History, Department of 
Cultural Resources, projected 8 volumes, 1957 — ), VH, 269n, hereinafter cited as 
Hamilton and Williams, Graham Papers; Thomas C. Parramore, Cradle of the 
Colony: The History of Chowan County and Edenton, North Carolina 
(Edenton: Chamber of Commerce, 1967), 78-79; Archibald Henderson, North 
Carolina: The Old North State and the New (Chicago: Lewis Publishing 
Company, 2 volumes, 1941), H, 812, hereinafter cited as Henderson, North 

^Bonarva was named by Charles Pettigrew in 1790. Ebenezer built a house 
there for his bride. Lemmon, Pettigrew Papers, 1, 88, 497. 

^Mary Lockhart Pettigrew, second wife of the Reverend Charles Pettigrew 
and stepmother to Ebenezer, resided at Belgrade, the "home" plantation, until 
her death in 1833. Lemmon, Pettigrew Papers, I, xix, 8n, 93n, 125, 138n, 208, 

The Pettigrew Papers 3 

Ann Blount Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew UNC 

[New Bern, January 7, 1819] 

My dear Husband, 

You cannot complain of my not writing often. I wish I may not 
tire you with my letters, though I need not /fear/ for I feel assured 
that they are always agreeable if they are written in a legible hand, 
I am sorry to inform you of Pa's indisposition again he has had a 
very severe attack since my last letter he was confined to the bed 
several days & is now confined to the room the D^ says it is 
Reumatism but he has been very sick be it what it may, the rest of 
the family are well. I expect it will not be very long before we shall 
see You. I am very anxious for the time to roll round, Pa, has 
employed them to white wash the house but they have not began to 
paint — which I am anxious /to/ have done before our furniture 
arrives how much happiness should I feell if it was where our 
interest was & We could be always together but we must wait for 
time to do all things & if it can never be we must be resigned to our 
lot. I hope you will not forget my flowers in the box also two passion 
vines, & inquire of Sam for the cypress vine seed which I fogot to 
bring with me will you also bring what feathers there are as we 
shall have use for them, & if it is convenient have the wooden 
things made if not we may buy them here. Pa' sickness confines us 
entirely we have not been visiting but once neither are we overun 
with visitors, I mentioned his riding once & by that exposure got a 

I hope Aunt Pettigrew [Mary Lockhart Pettigrew] has re- 
cove/re/d health. I gave Master Charles a dressing for bad 
behaviour & it offended him so much that he wend down stairs & 
told of it to Mary who he flees to in all cases of necessity, he has 
behaved much better ever since, he came after breakfast to rock the 
cradle by way of making friends. I know of no news worth relating, 
Geo. Badger^ is married & is expected down with his wife her 
sisters & Brothers & a cousin (young lady) also his groomsman 

W Stanly^ who they say is courting one of the sisters, poor 

fellow he will get a wife at last, do write soon, remember my love to 
your Mother and believe m[e] 

as ever affectionate yours — 
Ann B Pettigrew. 

Newbern January 7*^ 1819 — new year I entirely forgot to wish you 
a merry christmas in my other letter — though it was a very dull one 
to me my mind dwelt upon upon one subject which I shall ever 
regret & feel hurt at & distressed at as long as I live my feelings are 
hurried from the world but I suffer the more. 

N.C. Division of Archives and History 

[Addressed] Mr E Pettigrew, 


^George Edmund Badger (1795-1866) married Rebecca Turner in 1818. A 
native of New Bern, Badger served as a superior court judge (1820-1825) before 
moving to Raleigh in 1825. He was appointed secretary of the navy by WiUiam 
Henry Harrison in 1841 but resigned when Tyler succeeded Harrison as 
president. From 1846 to 1854 he was United States senator from North 
Carolina. Powell, DNCB, I, 79-80. 

^Wright C. Stanly of New Bern, a lawyer, had served in the North Carolina 
Senate in 1814. John L. Cheney, Jr. (ed.). North Carolina Government, 1585- 
1979: A Narrative and Statistical History . . . (Raleigh: North Carolina 
Department of the Secretary of State, second, updated edition, 1981), 265, 
hereinafter cited as Cheney, North Carolina Government. He moved to Mobile 
after this period. A bachelor, he had red hair and always wore spectacles when 
practicing before the bar. Wright Stanly was a cousin to John Stanly, the 
prominent Federalist legislator and congressman. Miller, "Recollections," 20. 

Ehenezer Pettigrew to Ann Blount Pettigrew UNC 

Bonarva Jan 13, 1819 

My dearest Girl 

I recyd your affectionate letter of Dec. on new years day and 
yours of that day I recv^ yesterday, I am much obliged to you for 
them; I regret to learn that your Pa has not yet recovered but I hope 
he is by this time much on the mend. On the receit /of/ your first I 
determined to go and see him and yourself as soon as Whidby^ 
returned from Christmasing, but he staid so long that my business 
constrained me to stay and also Mothers letter informed us that he 
was better. No one can be more anxious to see another than I am to 
see you but positively my business so compleatly occupies me that I 
know not what to do first. As for Whidby he has turned out to be an 
obstinate, oppiniated fool, who believes he knows every thing and 
in fact knows nothing, my dictates he treats with perfect contempt 
not from disrespect of my person but from an idea of his superior 
knowledge even of my own business. I set out tomorrow morning 
for Col. Wiggins' vandue and from thence to Edenton. Immediately 
on my return I intend to discharge him. What my arrangement will 
be then I am unable to tell you, but I do not by any means dispair of 
going on tolerably well. I find M^ Cowan^ quite a clever fellow, and 
I think will after a little experience mannage pretty well he is yet 
coopering. Our Bill would do much better than W. Mother has 
discharged <Asburn> Ashburn^ and he swairs he will not remove 
his family they are there yet; he has had a good many drunken 
frolicks and abused the old lady very much. Mother has got 

The Pettigrew Papers 5 

tolerable well she has not made any complaint to me and I act as 
though I knew nothing about it, they may jog on as they will. 

I hope by the 12 Feb you will see us all pack & package but you 
must not expect me to stay with /you/ more than a month, but my 
dearest girl if we part in love and meet in love and continue to love 
each other in absence and when together let us lift up our hearts to 
God in praises to him that he has united us in the bonds of 
marriage. My dear I will never leave nor forsake you and if before 
marriage I languished for you I yet glory in that union and that 
affection which I then felt I can assure you has not diminished one 
attom, I am ready at any time to lay down my life for your 

I have purchased a negroe woman & child she is for a cook and I 
think will do much better than any we have got unless it is melia 
she was sold for a good washer and ironer she is 23 years of age and 
pretty likely, [torn] has taken a great liking to her and it so turned 
[torn] head that I had to give him a floging on Sunday last. 

Do not think that W[hedbee]. and myself are always quarriling 
we have had but one slight jar yet, and /when/ I discharge him I 
expect to do it without any anger. 

Pray kiss my dear little boys for me and remember me 
affectionately to your Pa, Ma & family and believe me your ever 
affectionate and Loving husband 

E Pettigrew 

N.B. I am much obliged to you for the receit for the gout but I shall 
not be apt to follow it exactly 

NB. My saw mill answers very well and with me at her head is good 
for ten dollars pr day 

[Addressed] M^s Ann B Pettigrew 

^Whedbee was Ebenezer Pettigrew's overseer at this time. 

^No Cowan is listed as a head of family in Tyrrell or Washington County in 
either 1820 or 1830, but several persons by that name are listed in Bertie County 
in the 1830 census, according to Ronald Vern Jackson, David Schaefermeyer, 
and Gary Ronald Teeples (eds.), North Carolina 1830 Census Index (Bountiful, 
Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems, 1976), 41, hereinafter cited as 1830 
Census Index. 

^Ashburn was Mary Lockhart Pettigrew's overseer. 

6 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

Ebenezer Pettigrew to Ann Blount Pettigrew UNC 

Plimouth Feb 13, 1819 

My dearest Girl 

I came up to this place to day with the intention of selling my 
corn but I shall fail to get my price. When I returned home /from 
[New]/ [Bern] I found Mother still in joperdy that family yet with 
her and M^s Ashburn very sick what is her complaint no one 
knows. Doctor Ellis^ attends her. Anthoney had resisted Whedbee's 
authority and in the affray Will got from A. a terrable cut on the 
arm which has entirely disabled him for the present. Anthoney 
then ran away & has not yet been taken. Do not think that all this 
has put me out of temper for I assure you I was never more cool and 
deliberate in /my/ movements every thing else goes on tolerable 
well Scuppernong has been quite sickly but geting less so, the 
complaint is something of the Epidemic in a mild form Col. 
Tarkinstons^ /wife/ has died of it. I hope you have had the bacon 
hung up do have the pickle pored from the pork and boild and when 
cold let it put back to the Pork. I hope to be under way for Newburn 
before long but I have got to go to Edenton & to Alligator first, two 
fellows in a fray down there the other day cut a Constable throat 
but it is said /he will/ get over it. I hope before this your Pa is much 
on the mend do remember me to him your Ma & family also kiss my 
dear little children for me and believe me to be my dearest Love 
your affectionate Husband 

E Pettigrew 

N.B. I am pretty well recov[^or72] of [torn]. I expect more for 
Newbern by the first of March I think I shall come in the vessil I 
have heard that M^ M^Kinly^ is dead 


In great haste 

Mrs A. B. Pettigrew 

N.B. There is to be a steem boat Ball in Edenton the 18*^ & one in 
this Place the 22^^ go that these places are in high life 

[Addressed] M^s Ann B Pettigrew 
Newbern NC 

^ A Dr. Ellis is mentioned in Lemmon, Pettigrew Papers, I, 572, as wishing to 
buy a horse from William Shepard of New Bern in 1817. He may have been the 
Dr. James H. Ellis who died in Tyrrell County in 1827. Raleigh Register, 
September 4, 1827. 

^Col. Benjamin Tarkinton (Tarkenton, Tarkington) of Tyrrell County is 
listed as a head of family in the 1830 census but does not appear in the 1820 

The Pettigrew Papers 

census. Eleven Tarkinton families are listed in 1830 in Tyrrell County, and 
seven in Washington County. 1830 Census Index, 183. In Tyrrell County, the 
wife of Col. Zebulon Tarkington died in 1825. Raleigh Register, April 26, 1825. 
^^Ebenezer is probably referring to James McKinlay of New Bern, former 
president of the Bank of New Bern, who died on February 4, 1819. Raleigh 
Register, February 12, 1819. 

Ehenezer Pettigrew to Ann Blount Pettigrew unc 

Bonarva March 26, 1819 

My derest Love, 

I yesterday put on board our furniture and the vessil Droped 
down the river I am too meet her at the mouth of river tomorrow 
about 10. when I shall go on board, for a number of reasons which I 
will give you when I see you I have determined to /go/ round in her 
and hope to get with you as quick as the bearer of this but if I should 
not you will keep Ben and set him to work in the yard and garden 
untill I see you I will defer every other communication as from the 
mutiplicity of business it is heard work for me to write or think but 
in general. I am in health I hope dear Girl you and my little ones are 
also, and that your Pa is on the recovery. Remember me to them all 
and believe as always your ever affectionate Husband 

E Pettigrew 
[Addressed] Mrs Ann B. Pettigrew 

Ehenezer Pettigrew to James Cathcart Johnston unc 

Newbern April 9, 1819 

My dear Sir, 

Agreeable to promise I send you a few lines although from the 
present confused and agitated state of my mind it is with great 
difficulty I put my ideas on paper. I arrived at this place the S^^ 
after a seven days voyage in which I experienced 72 hours of storm, 
the first 36 was in Croatan sound where we rode safe, the next 36 
was to Leeward of the Royal shoal in which I was in great alarm, in 
fact there was strong probability I had seen my family and my 
friends for the last time. The evening of our anchoring to Leeward 
of the Royal shoal the wind had been light &; favourable and the 
Captain in lufing to get to the place to anchor for the night ran on 
the shoal, we made every exertion with sails and poles to get of but 
with no effect; we then carried out an anchor by which we got off. 

8 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

In 15 minutes after it was carried and before we hove to it, the wind 
rose so that it would have been impossible for our boat to have 
lived, and the Pilots who came on board the second day after (for 
none could venture out the next day though we hoisted a signal of 
distress) told me that if we had not got off that evening we should 
certainly have gone to pieces that night. 

After my first alarm I consoled myself with this sort of reasoning. 
I am now moving to a place [New Bern] and among a people who I 
know very little about and that little which I do know has not 
prejudiced me in their favour. I am tolerably advanced in years 
and have formed my habits and my friends who are very dear to me 
they are persons who I have the most perfect confidence in. Does 
my observation teach me there are any such here? I must answer 
no. I know I am among a set of sharpers and cannot feal easy when 
I am where they are and as all is for the best perhaps it has pleased 
God to give me the watery grave that I may avoid the evil to come & 
his will be done. 

I feal happy in this reflection that I have paid the debt which I 
owed to my dear Nancy than which nothing ever gave me more 
uneasiness, though I declare she never demanded; I hope you know 
me sufficiently to believe that I do not require dunning to pay my 

This is the 7^^ day since I landed & I have not been in one private 
house except M^ S[/i]epards, Do not be affraid I shall commence a 
warfare I shall avoid that by treating them with great distance. 

It is with the deepest regret I inform you that I believe M^" 
Shepard is past hope. He is gradually sinking under the Doctors 
say a complication of diseases he yesterday had a violent pain in 
his knee to day he has little or none but I think him no better and I 
fear the time not far distant when he /will/ close this mortal caier. 
M^s S. is also unwell. M^s P. and children are well She joins me in 
best respects to the ladies & please to acept assurances of the 
Esteem & regard of your sincere friend 

Mr Johnston 

[Addressed] James C Johnston Esqr 
Edenton Post Office 

E Pettigrew 
Pra[y] write me soon 

The Pettigrew Papers 9 

Rebecca Tunstall^ to Mary Lockhart Pettigrew a&h 

April 24, 1819 

My dear Aunt, 

I have taken up my pen to write you by M^ Horten who calN on us 
a few minutes Monday. I am much pleased to hear you ware 
well — but am truly sorry to hear of your greate loss I hope Aunt it 
was not all of your Corn — as it is such a price with us, and not much 
Cheaper with you M^ Horten Says I think M^ Tunstall Says he Sold 
his for 6 and a halfe Dollars pi' Barrell — Mr Horten says My dear 
Aunt you think very hard of my not going to see you, but am Sure if 
you knew how I am Situated you could not think I could leave home 
at least for Several months back — M^" Tunstall was taken in 
September with a voilent actack of a Billious Complaint and 
Continued all the fall and winter spring very unwell — and indeed 
my dear Aunt I am doubtfull he will never injoy his health again he 
is much Reduced and allways Complaining with a pain in his 
stomack Doct^ Pugh thinks his liver is affected Oh My dear Aunt if 
it should please God to take him before me what would becom of me 
he is at Halifax at this time but was not well, you may be Sure my 
dear Aunt I Shall allways go to see you when I can with 
Conveinance — but to say when I can it is out of my power at this 
time Mi^ Horten told me you talked of Coming Up with him but gave 
it out, nothing would have been more pleasing to me then to have 
Your Company here but it is a Satisfaction I little expect — we are 
quite lonesome at this time Our Children are all at School Joseph 
and William at Chappie Hill and Beckey and Mary at Louisburg in 
Franklin [County\'^ Lucy and Peyton goes from home — I am much 
pleased with your preasend my dear Aunt. I think the Cap a very 
hansom One, and it fits me as well as if my head had been their to 
have fitted it on — but, the pattron for Mary is not a neought they 
are allmost as tall as my selfe. I must give her my preasant — I have 
Sent you Some Tobacker and I think it very good perhaps Aunt it 
may be too Strong — by puting it in the Sun it may weaking it Some. 
I Saw Sister Pugh^ last week She was not well, as for Peggy"^ I never 
see her I hear from her often She injoys good health. I am Surprised 
she never Comes to See us I know she has it her power to do so I am 
not very well my selfe — <with> I am very much given to a pain in 
my head and eye every week or two I have an actack I perserved a 
nice Pot of Peaches last fall for you my dear Aunt with the 
intenshion of carrying them to you — but M^ Tunstall /Sickness/ 
pervented my doing so — I wish sincerly you had them but cannot 
think of trubling M^ Horten with them — My paper is giting short 
and must conclude with my love to you and Sally. Beleive me my 
dear Aunt to be your Sincear and 

10 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

Affectionate Child and Neice 
Rebecca Tunstall 

P.S. Make my best respets to Ebenz^ and Lady Polly^' M^ Slatter 
and Family desire to be Remembered to you Thomy^ and Family 
are well — give my love to Rily and all the old set 

R Tunstall 

^Rebecca Bryan Barnes Tunstall was a niece of Mary Lockhart Pettigrew. 
She married Peyton R. Tunstall of Scotland Neck, Halifax County, after the 
1795 death of her first husband, Thomas Barnes. Lemmon, Pettigrew Papers, I, 
xix, 115n, 291n; Raleigh Register, October 26, 1821. Her second husband was 
listed in the 1820 census as Paeton R. Tunstall. Dorothy WilHams Potter (ed.), 
1820 Federal Census of North Carolina (Tullahoma, Tenn.: Dorothy Williams 
Potter, 56 volumes, 1970-1972), XXIV, 46, hereinafter cited as 1820 Federal 

^Female academies were in operation at Louisburg fairly continuously from 
1820 on. Charles L. Coon, North Carolina Schools and Academies, 1 790-1840: A 
Documentary History (Raleigh: Edwards and Broughton, 1915), 96-106, herein- 
after cited as Coon, North Carolina Schools and Academies. 

^Elizabeth, the older sister of Rebecca Bryan Barnes Tunstall, was the wife of 
a Mr. Pugh. Lemmon, Pettigrew Papers, I, xix, 191, 308. 

^Possibly Peggy was Margaret, another sister of Rebecca Tunstall. Lemmon, 
Pettigrew Papers, I, xix. 

^Polly was a nickname for Mary. It is unclear whom Rebecca Tunstall meant. 

^Thomy was probably Rebecca Tunstall's son Samuel Thomas Barnes, who 
had married Marina Keys in 1814. Lemmon, Pettigrew Papers, I, xix; 
Raleigh Register, February 11, 1814; Raleigh Register, October 26, 1821. 

John Gray Blount, Jr.,"" to William Shepard a&h 

Raleigh May 31st 1819 

Yours on the subject of your Tennessee lands^ was rec^ on my 
arrival at this place — I am unacquainted whith what has passed 
between you & my Father on the subject, except what your letter 
communicates, and that, I do not perhaps understand — If it means 
only that you will refund any sums which may be paid to persons 
for identifying, & to Surveyors & chain carriers for resurveying, 
your lands, I should prefer declining the agency, as it would give 
me some months labour & could in no way lessen the expenses 
attending the establishment of my Fathers lands — If however, you 
wish your lands established & resurveyed, I will undertake to do it 
for 12 p.ct which I believe is one half less than any person has yet 
offered to do it for — I have a connected plat of the lands surveyed in 
that country, which I think will enable me to find all the lands 
which have been granted — If your corners can be established, your 
lands shall be resurveyed and you furnished with a plat & 

The Pettigrew Papers 11 

description of its soil value &c — If they cannot be established I will 
procure warrants for the amount which may be best, on the same 
terms, you paying one half of the fees of office — The terms I have 
proposed would not pay me for going to that country, but as I shall 
be there & have to attend to business of that sort, it may perhaps 
pay me for the extra trouble & labour it will occation — Whether I 
am employed or not it is proper that you should be informed, that it 
will be necessary that you should as soon as possible assertain 
whether your lands can be identifyed, and whether there are any 
interferences with other lands, in order that you may in time avail 
yourself of the priviledge of obtaining warrants for such as may be 
lost or taken by better title — It will also be necessary that your 
Grants should be recorded — The deed from J[ohn] G[ray] & 
T[homas] Blount to R. D. S[paight].^ and from Speight to W[illie]. 
Blount"^ & the deed from W. B to yourself should all be recorded in 
the event that your lands cannot be established or the warrants 
cannot be obtained in your name — Certified copies of the Grants 
may be had in Tennessee & if the originals cannot be had, they 
may be recorded — 

I shall remain in this place until the 8 or lO^h of June and should 
be glad to know your determination before I leave it 

Respectfully your Obd* 
J G Blount jr 
[Addressed] William Shepard Esq'' 
No Caro 

iJohn Gray Blount, Jr. (1785-1828), was handling the Tennessee land 
interests of his father, who ran the Blount mercantile business in Washington, 
North Carolina. John Gray Blount (1752-1833) had extensive landholdings in 
Tennessee, as had his brothers William, who died in 1800, and Thomas, who 
died in 1812. Powell, DNCB, I, 179, 182, 183. 

^Charles Pettigrew likewise had acquired lands in Tennessee and engaged 
Howell Tatum as his land agent. Sarah McCulloh Lemmon, Parson Pettigrew 
of the "Old Church": 1744-1807 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina 
Press, 1970), 83-86, hereinafter cited as Lemmon, Parson, Pettigrew. Ebenezer 
Pettigrew first engaged Moses Fisk as his land agent and then changed to 
Moses E. Cator in 1816. Lemmon, Pettigrew Papers, I, 451, 527. 

^Richard Dobbs Spaight (1758-1802) and his son, Richard Dobbs Spaight, Jr. 
(1796-1850), both were governors of North Carolina. Beth G. Crabtree, North 
Carolina Governors, 1585-1974: Brief Sketches (Raleigh: Division of Archives 
and History, Department of Cultural Resources, revised edition, 1974), 53, 80, 
hereinafter cited as Crabtree, North Carolina Governors. 

4 Willie Blount (1768-1835) was a half-brother of John Gray Blount, Sr. AKce 
Barnwell Keith, William H. Masterson, and David T. Morgan (eds.). The John 
Gray Blount Papers (Raleigh: Division of Archives and History, Department of 
Cultural Resources, 4 volumes, 1952-1982), IV, 14n, hereinafter cited as Keith 
and others, Blount Papers. 

12 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

Ann Blount Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew unc 

[June, 1819] Sunday morning — 

My dear M^ Pettigrew 

I have the melancholly task to inform you of My dear Fathers 
death he expired this morning between the hours of five & six after 
very severe suffering he was taken tuesday with a dissentary 
which was violent in the extreme & which he bore with great 
patience & calmness — I believe he knew he was going, oh we have 
wished for you & John wrote for you to come — but our friends & 
myself think that as you will be under the necessity of returning in 
a short time it will endanger your health therefore stay untill you 
finish your business and then come Mama is in great grief & I do 
not know what will be the consequence — 

I am yours 
[Addressed] M^ Pettigrew 

Ebenezer Pettigrew to James Cathcart Johnston"^ unc 

Bonarva Aug 4, 1819 

My dear Sir, 

Your favour of 2nd July did not come to hand untill the last of the 
month. I was aware of the necessity of shiping wheat early but 
from disappointments in geting a vessil my wheat is yet in the 
house, the disappointment is much greater to me in consequence of 
my intention to set out about the middle of this month for the 
Western country. My objects are various, one to view the country 
with <view> an intention to settle and another to have secured the 
land which M^ Shepard held in that country. The unfortunate 
circumstance of M^ Shepards death has put my continuing at 
Newbern longer than /the/ year out of the question; and where I 
shall go next I am entirely undetermined; Christmas will however 
make a change be the same better or worse. I am glad to find Doc^r 
Beasley ^ treated you with so much respect & attention; I understand 
he is marked for his politeness to all Gentlemen visiting the City 
except his relations who he is less desirous to see in proportion as 
they get nearer to him in fact when they get within the limmits of 
Philidelphia desire totally ceases. Bye the bye the<y> greater 
number of them are such a stupid, degenerate set that he is in a 
great measure excusable. But let me drop this subject for the farm. 

My wheat was much injured by the caterpillar and the north east 
spell of weather we had about the lO^h may. My corn is very likely I 

The Pettigrew Papers 13 

think some of it will produce more than I ever had before the 
seasons of late have been very partial while one <farm> neighbour- 
hood will be very much parched with drouth another will be leting 
off water and have their corn very much injured. <I could> My 
farm could not however <ask> wish for a better season to the 
present time than this. The Lake is 2^2 ft below high water and 
lower than I recollect to have ever seen it but once before. I am 
taking the advantage of the dry weather and am deepening my 
canal a foot from below Woo[o?]leys (which is the farm at the lower 
end) to above Indian town a distance of about 2 miles. I think it will 
be of great account in as much as the water when the machinery is 
going will be a foot lower in the canal about the plantation. This is 
only the tenth year since I have been working in the canal. <Mr> 
<I believe> I believe I have writen all I can think of at present and 
must conclude with expressing a great desire to see and beging you 
to believe me with great regard your sincere friend 

E Pettigrew 
[Addressed] James Johnston Esqr 
New York 

^Dr. Frederick Beasley (1777-1845), an eminent Episcopal clergyman and 
provost of the University of Pennsylvania, was the son of John Baptist Beasley 
and Elizabeth Blount Beasley, the sister of Ebenezer Pettigrew's mother. The 
Reverend Charles Pettigrew had greatly encouraged him in his studies. 
Lemmon, Pettigrew Papers, I, 178n; Powell, DNCB, I, 124-125. 

Ebenezer Pettigrew to Ann Blount Pettigrew UNC 

Raleigh Sep 10, 1819 

My dear Girl, 

I have just time to inform you that I arrived at this place at 9 
oclock, /this mo[rn]ing/ in good health and spirits and all well I 
shall continue on this evening. I have been very much gratifyed 
with the hills and vallys brooks and rocks. I wish you were with 
me. Kiss the children for me and believe me your affectionate 

E Pettigrew 

My hurry arrises from the mail being about to close and know you 
will be more anxious to he[a]r from me now than after I have been 
gone some time 

[Addressed] Mrs Ann B Pettigrew 

14 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

Ehenezer Pettigrew to Ann Blount Pettigrew unc 

Abingdon Virginia Sep. 18, 1819 

My dear Girl, 

I have without any accident of the shghtest sort arrived at this 
place, which is 400 miles from Newbern I found the road better 
than I expected untill I got to the B[/]ue Ridge which for about 40 
miles is very ruff the ascent at the Bule Ridge is a mile as steep as I 
was able to walk up which fatigued /me/ exceedinly, I had to set 
down and rest 4 times, that walk and the walk up the Pilot 
mountain (of which I will give you a discription when I see you) 
together with the thumps I got in the 40 miles spoken /of/ made me 
so sore that I could scarcely get in and out of the chair but I hope in 
a day or two I shall be quite over it, all this fatigue has not made me 
any way sick or low spirited in fact I have had unusual good spirits, 
I am very much amused with the hills and valleys of this uneven 
country but of all I have yet seen I should prefer the Haws fields 
which is near Hillsborough. I think my dear Girl you will be 
pleased to travil through the up country and I think if I should see 
next fall I must take you up, & how much I have wished for /you/ 
when I have been delighted at seeing a distant mountain. I parted 
with my newbern company at Tarborough and did not travil one 
mile with another person — untill I got 18 m beyond Salem which is 
a distance of 200. /m/ 1 was then overtaken by a young /gentle/man 
who traviled with me 2^2 days in which we crossed the Blue Ridge. I 
then fell in with a M^ Randolph and will travil with him Nashville, 
he is quite a clever man and does not drink a drop. I mention these 
little circumstances my dear Nancy because I know it will be 
gratifying to you. I think my horses mend. I feal my dearest Nancy 
great anxiety about the health of yourself and my dear little boys 
but I hope for the best In the mean time kiss them for me and belive 
me to be your affectionate and loving Husband 

E Pettigrew 

N.B. I saw M^^ Stevens at Salem and I wrote you from Raligh. Pray 
write Mother in my absence. 

Ehenezer Pettigrew to Ann Blount Pettigrew unc 

Nashville Tennessee Oct^ 1, 1819. 

My dearest Nancy 

After a long and fatiguing journey I arrived at this Place 
yesterday. I stayed a day at Murfreesborough where the Assembly 
is siting. I am exceedingly disappointed in the country. I expect to 

The Pettigrew Papers 15 

go into the Chickasaw nation to either see or survey the land. 
Heartyly tired I wish I was but on your side of the mountains 
again. I find here a number of North CaroHneans who are all 
friendly and intimate. My dearest life & Love I never in my life was 
so desirous to see you, but so it is I must before that can happen 
travil 750 miles and receive 10 million thumps. I have been very 
well since I set out. I hope my sweet Nancy you and our dear little 
boys are in tolerable health. If I should go to the nation to survey 
the land I shall write you again before I start therefore I will 
conclude by subscribing myself your ever affectionate and loving 

E Pettigrew 

I wrote you from Raleigh and Abingdon I hope you have recv^ 
them. I was much disappointed this morning on going to thb Post 
office and finding no letter for me 

E. P. 
[Addressed] M^s Ann B Pettigrew 
Newbern NC 

Ebenezer Pettigrew to James Cathcart Johnston unc 

Newbern Dec 10, 1819 

My dear Sir 

I thank my God, I have once more arrived at this place after a 
long and fatiguing journey and disastious as respects horses 
unparaleled having left Nashville the 16 Oct'^ for home. I hope 
never to see any of /the/ west country again, not liking any of it 
which I saw nor any which I could have an account of I am 
satisfyed it has no advantages over that in which I live, and any 
man who will move to it without seeing is crasy and he who move to 
it after must be still more so. I hope to see you shortly after 
Christmas and then I will give you an honest account of all I have 
seen. I hope to leave this in a few day forever as a home. Edenton 
and its vicinity forever. The mail is closing and I must conclude by 
hoping to see you shortly and beging to give my best respect to your 
sisters and accept my warmest wishes for your hapiness from your 
much Esteemed friend. 

E Pettigrew 

N.B. Mrs p. & children are tolerable well. 

I have a hint that there is to be a sale of M^^ Collins' ^ property 
shortly. If the fourth of the Eastern tract should be offered I should 

16 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

be much obliged to you /if you/ will bid /it/ of or have it done for 


Mrs p, sends her love to your sisters also 

Pray excuse this miserable scrall for I am in a devil of a hurry, they 
swear dreadfully in Tennessee 

James C. Johnston Esqr 

[Addressed] James C. Johnston Esqr 
near Edenton NC. 

^ Three generations of Collinses were neighbors and business associates of 
the Pettigrews. Josiah Collins (1735-1819) came to Edenton in 1777 as a 
widower. A merchant, he and others formed the Lake Company to drain the 
swamps around Lake Phelps and turn them into arable land. It was he who 
persuaded the Reverend Charles Pettigrew to move to the lake. Lemmon, 
Parson Pettigrew, 44. 

Josiah Collins II (1763-1839) lived chiefly in Edenton and visited his lake 
plantation sporadically. He married Anne Rebecca Daves of New Bern in 1803. 
Their children were Anne Daves (married William Biddle Shepard); Mary 
Matilda (married Dr. Mathew Page of Virginia); Josiah III (married Mary 
Riggs of Newark, New Jersey, in 1829); Henrietta Elizabeth (married Dr. 
Mathew Page); Hugh Williamson; John Daves; Louisa McKinley (married first 
Dr. Thomas Harrison and second the Reverend William Stickney); and 
Elizabeth Alethea (married Dr. Thomas Davis Warren of Edenton). 

Josiah III (1808-1863) and Mary built the existing house at Somerset Place on 
the lake and became noted for their elaborate hospitality. They had three sons 
who survived, Josiah IV, Arthur, and George, and three who died young, 
Edward, Hugh, and William. All of the above appear in the letters in this 
volume. Powell, DNCB, I, 404-406. 

Dr. M[atthias] E. Sawyer^ to [Ebenezer Pettigrew] unc 

Edenton Jany 4. 1820 

Dear Sir 

I have never been able until the close of the last year to procure 
for you in this place a house and lotes suitable for the residence of 
your family and my success finally was rather the result of 
accident than expectation. It affords me much satisfaction however 
to have succeeded in getting the house formerly belonging to Doct 
Beasley^ which will be ready for your reception whenever it may be 
convenient or agreable for you to occupy it — I was compelled to 
give what may be considered here a high rent $220. and if I have 
erred in securing the house at that price you must impute it to an 

The Pettigrew Papers 17 

over anxiety to have you live amongst and from the knowledge of 
the facility with which you could erect a new building if you should 
select this as a place of your permanent residence. 

I take this opportunity to acknowledge the receipt of your very 
interesting letter from Nashville of the 3^ of October, interesting 
not only on account of the just views you have taken of the soil 
climate and state of society in Tenessee but as affording me an 
additional prof of the friendship and regard of a man who has been 
so long esteemed and admired by 

M E Sawyer 

^Matthias E. Sawyer was a physician in Edenton. He married Mrs. Margaret 
(Peggy) Hosmer on December 21, 1795, and the couple had five children: 
Matthias E., Jr., Samuel Tredwell, Margaret, Hellen, and Mary. In 1820 the 
census showed a family of two adults, four children, and nine slaves. Mary died 
in 1823 at age thirteen, Mrs. Sawyer died in 1826 at age fifty-eight, and 
Margaret died in 1827 at age nineteen. The 1830 census listed Matthias, Jr., and 
Samuel in separate households, living alone. Dr. Sawyer had five young men 
living at his Edenton home in 1830; possibly they were medical apprentices. He 
also had twenty-seven slaves. 

Dr. Sawyer died in 1835, and in his will, probated in May, 1835, he left 
everything to Samuel with the injunction to look after Matthias, Jr., and 
Hellen. Dr. James A. Norcom witnessed Dr. Sawyer's will, indicating that he 
probably attended him in his last illness. The 1840 census listed only one 
Sawyer in Chowan County— Arnell Sawyer, not a member of this family. 1820 
Federal Census, XIV, 6; Fifth Census of the United States, 1830: Chowan 
County, North Carolina, 334, microfilm of National Archives manuscript copy, 
North Carolina Archives; Sixth Census of the United States, 1840: Chowan 
County, North Carolina, 208, microfilm of National Archives manuscript copy, 
North Carolina Archives; Will of Matthias E. Sawyer, Chowan County Wills, 
Book C, 182, North Carolina Archives; Chowan County Marriage Bonds, North 
Carolina Archives; North Carolina Star (Raleigh), January 6, 1826; Raleigh 
Register, December 15, 1823, September 26, 1826, December 18, 1827. 

^Dr. John Beasley of Edenton, a physician and cousin to Ebenezer, had died 
in 1814. Lemmon, Pettigrew Papers, 1, 178n, 472-473. See also the discussion of 
the Beasley family in the footnote for Ann Blount Pettigrew to Mary Williams 
Bryan, September 24, 1827, in this volume. 

[Ebenezer Pettigrew] to James Cathcart Johnston unc 

Bonarva Feb. 20, 1820 

My dear Sir, 

I regret exceedingly that I am constrained to abandon the idea of 
moving to town at the present, and though I carry my family to the 
Lake again with fear and trembling as to their health and with a 
great dislike to the seclusion of my dear wife from society, yet upon 
cool and deliberate reflection I consider it all important, to prevent 

18 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

me from being plunged in debt still deeper, which in the event of my 
death would place her and my little children in a very dependant 
and wretched state. My overseer has conducted my business with 
credit to himself & to my satisfaction and though I shall continue 
him, there is a great deal for me to do. 

My wish has never been to amass great wealth but an easy 
competence is necessary and truely desirable. It may be asked, Did 
you not know all these things before? I certainly did; but I had 
hoped that the production of my farm would not only sell but 
command a reasonable price. You very well know the fallicy of 
such a hope. 

Mrs Pettigrew regrets as much as myself the necessity of this 
movement but I am happy to say it is only requisit for me to 
mention the importance of an act to get her approbation and 
perfect willingness, She is at this time singing Psalms in great stile 
it being Sunday. 

I shall always feel grateful to my friends in Edenton and its 
vicinity for their attention to me and their pleasure at a knowledge 
of my moving among them. 

My dear Sir, Yourself and Doct^ Sawyer to whom I have writen a 
similar letter and feel it my duty to account for this apparent 
whimsical kind of conduct, will pleasure to excuse this frailty of 
human nature; At the same time I beg the like indulgence from the 
Ladies of your fa[mi]ly. 

It would give us great pleasure to receive a visit from them and 
yourself this spring; in the interim please to give our best respects 
to them and [torn] 

[Addressed] James C. Johnston Esqr 

James Moffatt^ to Ebenezer Pettigrew unc 

Edenton 23rd— February 1820.— 

Dear Sir, 

Your favor of the 20<^h inst. is received, — M^ Whedbee with the 
vessel for your furniture arrived yesterday afternoon, which with 
the assistance of 3 Carts, (1 from M^ Collins, 1 from D^ Sawyer and 
1 from Mr Horniblow^) & Mr Collins's hands, I have had put on 
board this forenoon in good order — , the Secretary, side board and 
safe are left on Deck as they could not be got down in the hold, I 
hope it will all arrive at the Lake safe, and that you may find 
nothing amiss. — I shall endeavour, with the assistance of Dr 
Sawyer to rent your House for the balance of the year on some 
terms. — 

The Pettigrew Papers 19 

Your friends here are much dissapointed on your decHning 
taking up your residence amongst them with your family, although 
it is certainly more to your Interest to be where your bussiness is 
carrying on. — 

I should be very happy to have the pleasure of visting you this 
spring, but situated as I am here, I cannot make you any real 
promise on that score, it has been planned — sometime ago — 
between M^ C. & myself to go over next month for the purpose of 
making some surveys near the Lake, which are wanted, but am 
rather uncertain. — 

Wishing you and your family all the health, happiness and 
contentment which this world can afford. — 

I am Dear Sir, 

your sincere well wisher 

James Moffatt 

Give my respects to M^^ & M^^s Carraway^ 

[Addressed] Ebenezer Pettigrew Esq: 
Lake Phelps 

^This was probably the James Moffatt associated with Josiah Collins's 
business. Lemmon, Pettigrew Papers, I, 632n. Census records list no James 
Moffatt in 1820, but a person by that name is listed in Elizabeth City, 
Pasquotank County, in 1830. 1830 Census Index, 130. 

'^This might refer to James Horniblow or Joseph Horniblow of Edenton, sons 
of Elizabeth Pritchard Horniblow. Mrs. Horniblow was the widow of John 
Horniblow, who died in 1799, and operated Horniblow's Tavern, Estate 
Records of John Horniblow, 1799, Chowan County Estates Records, North 
Carolina Archives; Lemmon, Pettigrew Papers, I, 162n. 

^Perhaps Moffatt refers to Snoad B. Carraway or Jesse Carraway, who may 
have been brothers. Snoad was associated with Ebenezer's business affairs. He 
married Penny Lee in 1812 and is listed as a head of family in Washington 
County in the 1820 census. Lemmon, Pettigrew Papers, I, 91n, 426n, 448; 
Dorothy Williams Potter (ed. and comp.). Index to 1820 North Carolina Census 
(Tullahoma, Tenn.: Dorothy Williams Potter, 1974), 75, hereinafter cited as 
1820 Census Index. He moved to Lenoir County and married again in 1828. See 
Snoad B. Carraway to Ebenezer Pettigrew, January 21, 1828, in this volume. 

Jesse Carraway is first mentioned in the documents in 1813. He was a builder 
and constructed mills for Ebenezer in 1817 and 1818. Lemmon, Pettigrew 
Papers, I, 454, 561, 604. 

John Swann Shepard to Ebenezer Pettigrew a&h 

New Bern 23rd. April. 1820. 

Dear Sir. 

Yours per mail enclosing letters of introduction [to] gentlemen in 
[Tennessee] I have received for which I am much obliged, enclosed 

20 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

you will find a bond to refund your legacy in case the estate should 
not be able to pay its debts I should not have demanded from you 
that Instrument but it is customary and it would have been 
necessary for me to have given you a bill of sale for the negroes, but 
this bond will answer every purpose as it will be filed away in the 
Clerks office which will allways show your title to the negroes--for 
your edification I have enclosed to you a letter from that infamous 
Hypocrite Beasely [Dr. Frederick Beasley] <from> /of/ Philadel- 
phia. I wish you not to show it to any person but on the return of 
mother send it to me. I think I discover from the tenor of his letter a 
little exulting security I have not answered and shall not until until 
after the 6th of december 1820, which time the judgement that 
hangs over the head of Wilson Blount^ will have expired. My 
reasons for acting in this way are these Beasely I veryly beleave 
expects to draw from me something which I do not possess in way 
of evidence with which he may show the sale of the land to be a 
fraudulent one and upset blounts will and receave the property as 
the Heir of Blount but I Shall act no way offencive to the fellow but 
let him tickle himself <whi> with the vain hope until it is out of His 
power to disturb the Sleeping lion. I am very much afraid that the 
fellow in this town will succeed in establishing his account because 
he is a scoundrel all the Church people in this town sympathize 
with him as the event came I found that Stanly was not [postive] 
but on the [contrary] was fearful of the event — I have been up the 
Roanoak since you left this I saw^ Mr Jones a gentleman of your 
acquantance when in Tennessee I believe It was mutually under- 
stood between you to blow each others fame — my business in the 
season comes on so rapid that I cannot go with mother to your 
House I shall travel with them as far as Plymouth and there leave 
them under the care of his reverence Mr Mason^ who will attend to 
the lake and you and him will have room and privacy enough to 
abuse the clods of our town. William [Biddle Shepard] is I dont 
know where we heard last from him at Philadelphia If you should 
find him shooting through your swamp you will confir a singular 
favour on me if you would set him to Ploughing for I am told that is 
an admirable remady for lunacy — but I suppose he thinks if that is 
the case we ought all go that business — Mothers health does not 
improve I wish you would exert your Self to throw this melancholly 
from her mind and induce her to exercise more — I will give you my 
opinion of Tennessee when I return 

Yours with respec 

and aff 

John S Shepard 

'Wilson Blount was a brother to James Blount of Mulberry Hill and uncle to 
Ebenezer Pettigrew, Dr. Frederick Blount, Dr. Frederick Beasley, and Mary 

The Pettigrew Papers 21 

Blount Shepard, mother of the letter writer. Childless, he aided Frederick 
Blount with his medical education, but later the two became involved in a 
dispute over his generosity. Lemmon, Pettigrew Papers, I, xvi, 53n, 422. 

^Richard Sharpe Mason (1795-1874) was minister of Christ Church, New 
Bern, from 1818 to 1828. After a sojourn in Geneva, New York, he returned to 
North Carolina and settled in 1840 in Raleigh, where he served as rector of 
Christ Church until his death. Gertrude S. Carraway, Crown of Life (New Bern: 
Owen G. Dunn, Publisher, 1940), 124-128, hereinafter cited as Carraway, 
Crown of Life; Journal of the Proceedings of the Annual Convention of the 
Protestant Episcopal Church in the State of North- Carolina . . . 1819 
(Fayetteville: Carney and Dismukes, 1819), 3, hereinafter cited as Journal of 
the Diocesan Convention, 1819; Journal of the Proceedings of the Annual 
Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the State of North- 
Carolina . . . 1820 (Fayetteville: Carney and Dismukes, 1820), 3; Journal of the 
Proceedings of the Annual Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in 
the State of North-Carolina . . . 1821 (Fayetteville: Carney and Ward, 1821), 3, 
hereinafter cited as Journal of the Diocesan Convention, 1821; Journal of the 
Proceedings of the Twenty-Fifth Annual Convention of the Protestant 
Episcopal Church in the State of North Carolina . . . 1841 (Fayetteville: Edward 
J. Hale, 1841), 3, hereinafter cited as Journal of the Diocesan Convention, 1841. 

Moses E. Cator^ to Ehenezer Pettigrew a&h 

Williamson County [Tennessee] 8th Aug 1820 

Dear Sir, 

I have a fiew days since Return^ from overton County and have 
Been suckcessfull in obtaining a warrant for you for 565 Acres, 
having a Coppey of Flewreys^ Deed to your Father and also a 
Coppey of the Later Clause of your Fathers will enabled me to Take 
the warrant in your own name. Viewing the stricktness of the Law 
and the Restricktions the Commisioners were laid under I had 
great doubts of obtaining said warrant and also being informed by 
several law Characters that it was useless to make the attempt that 
others of a much Clearer nature had faild. However I <almost> 
was determined to try the Experiment and suckceeded. I shall 
Deliver said warrant to M^ M^Lemore^ agreeable to your Request 
(if not otherwise Directed by you) to lay upon the Best terms that I 
Can Contract with him for. I have no doubt of the phidelity of M^^ 
McLemore the only objection that I have against him is that he 
holds more warrants than any other man in the state (as i am 
informed) Consequently he will hardley lay your warrant upon the 
first Quality of land and his own upon an inferior Quality, as self 
perservation is the first law in nature as to the Ballance of your 
land in overton [County] which is 235 Acrees. I have offered at one 
dollar V"^ acree upon a Credett payable in Horses at a fair price 
whether I shall have it in my power to sell it or not for that price I 
Cannot tell as yet. one great objection to it is that there is no water 
on it and in short I Know of no water. (I mean a Spring) on the 1000 

22 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

acre Tract except on the 200 acrees Conveyed to Gatlin.'' However I 
do asure you that I have done and shall Continue to do every thing 
in my power (Consistant with phidelity and integrity) in the 
premisses to your interest. I omited informing you above that no 
warrant under the present law Can be obtained unless the land 
Can be identifyed so that so much is saved through a little 
industrey. I discover a Clause in the present law of this state an 
injunction laid on the surveyors of each District in this new 
purchase to publish at least 3 weeks in a publick news paper the 
day when his office will be opene^ for the purpose of Recieveing 
Entrees and at the same time Requireing all persons Claiming 
lands within their District by Virtue of a Grant or Grants derived 
from North Carolina to Cause the same to be processioned before 
the 1st (Jay of oct 1820 there is also a provision that if such 
Clayment should not attend and no other person for them that in 
that Case the surveyor shall strive to Identify such granted lands if 
in his power, probably you had Better attend to your land Business 
on the Obian River or git some person to attend to it for you. I have 
the law now before me. 

as to my Traveling Expenses notwithstanding you were so 
generous as to pay me the three fourths part of it. from an 
observation you made I Recollect that I promise<^ you to Bear my 
own Expenses therefore I shall Refund the said traveling Expense 
Money to you again for if I make a Bad Bargain I am willing to 
stand to it. we have a great prospect for good Crops altho at this 
time we nead Rain, myself and familey are in Health Hoping these 
lines may find you and familey in perfect Health, you promised to 
write as soon as you Returned Home But have not heard from you 
since you left hear, only by Adkins Wynne who said he met you on 
your way home and said you had given up your Sulkey to your Boy 
and taken Horse and Sadie. I am Dear Sir your Readey friend and 
Verrey obd^ Serv* 

Moses E. Cator 

NB M^'s Cator and familey Join me in love and Complyments to M^s 
Pettigrew and familey to your Mother and to all enquiring friends 
and you will please to accept the same your self — when you write 
please to direct your letters to Nashville as usual — 

[Addressed] E. Pettigrew Esquire 
North Carolina 
Skinnersville. P. Office 

^ Moses E. Cator was a resident of Tyrrell County as late as 1809. By 1816 he 
had settled in Tennessee, where he represented Ebenezer and several other 
North Carolinians as land agent. Lemmon, Pettigrew Papers, I, 527-528. 

The Pettigrew Papers 23 

^Charles Pettigrew had purchased the land in question from Henry Fleury. 
Lemmon, Pettigrew Papers, I, 203n. 

3John C. McLemore was an active Tennessee land speculator. Keith and 
others, Blount Papers, IV, 141n. 

"•John Gatling had received a grant for a tract adjacent to that of Henry 
Fleury. This may be a reference to Gatling or his heirs. For a discussion of the 
confusion concerning location of the tracts, see Lemmon, Pettigrew Papers, I, 

John C. McLemore to Ehenezer Pettigrew unc 

Nashville 11th Nov. 1820 

Dear Sir, 

Your esteem^ favour of the 3^ ult^ is before me — our friend M^ 
Sheppard succeded in finding his lands without much difficulty or 
expence and I understand a considerable portion of it is excellent 
land, — I was much pleased at his Success for he is a young man I 
am much pleased with, — but I expect he has some charm in 
Carolina much more interesting than Tennessee lands, for it was 
with much difficulty I cou^ prevail on him to go to the Western 
District, — make my respects to him & tell him the Snakes are all in 
their houses, and he will have nothing now to dread but Swamps 
and muddy places and that they are not so numerous as in his 
Section of Country — that I shall be glad to hear from him if he has 
time to write — I saw your agent Cap. Cator some few weeks past he 
spoke to me about the location of your warrant and talked of selling 
it if he coud get a fair price. I advised him to sell, he said if he failed 
in selling he wou^ get me to locate. — Warrants are dull sale, owing 
to the great Scarcity of money — We like you begin to feel the hard 
times, the Banks have in a great measure been the cause of all our 
money difficulties, but as you say, "the people wou^ have Banks," 
and now when it is too late begin to curse them — You will see from 
our papers that our land lottery which commenced on the 1st inst 
has to be drawn over again, owing to an error which occurred in the 
course of the drawing — Wednesday next is the day fixed for the 
commencement of of the new drawing, as soon as it is over I will 
endeavour ascertain the number your warrant has drawn and will 
write you, — Our new State Bank is in opperation, it has made a 
good start, and we hope it will do well. Our worthy Gen^ [Andrew] 
Jackson who was appointed to hold a treaty with the Chocktaws 
has lately succeded in obtaining about Six million of acres [torn] 
lands in the Chocktaw Country East of the Missipippi — will see 
treaty published shortly. When you have time write me, I shall [be] 
glad to hear from you. — 

24 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

With great respect 

Your mo obt. st. 

Jno. C. McLemore 

[Addressed] E. Pettigrew Esq 
North CaroHna 

Ehenezer Pettigrew to Major Ferrange^ a&h 

Bonarva Lake Phelps March 17, 1821 

Dr Sir, 

From the poUte attentions which I received from you when at 
your house last spring I take the liberty to address you, please to 
accept my sincere thanks for those attentions and I assure you that 
if you could find the time, I should be very glad to receive a visit 
from you this spring or when convenient. My friend M^* Carraway 
had two of his negroes to run away at Christmas, and there is no 
doubt but their intention is for the north, he has advertised them 
with a reward of 100 dollars in the Edenton & Norfolk papers 
which you probably have seen, but least you may not I will give a 
small description of them. Their names are Steven & Anthoney, 
Steven is of yellow complexion, smiling countinace middle size, is 
pretty handy with carpenters tools, he also had as good cloths as 
any gentleman would wish to wear. Anthoney is below middle 
stature, of black complexion, served at the carpenters trade, cloths 
pretty good. There is no doubt but they will pass the canal; & will 
endeavour to get to Norfolk. Will you be so obliging as to have a 
look out for them and you are autorised by this letter to offer 
privately 50 dollars to any one who will give any information 
concerning them so that they may be caught. On the receit of this I 
should take it a favour if you would drop me a line My address is 
Skinnersville N.C. Your attention to the above request will receive 
the sincere thanks of my friend M^ Carraway and not less from 
your friend & obdt. Ser^t 

E Pettigrew 

[Addressed] Major Ferrange 
Lebanon canal 
Elizabeth City post office 

'Major Ferrange has not been identified. 

The Pettigrew Papers 25 

Ann Blount Pettigrew to Mary Williams Shepard UNC 

Lake Phelps November 16 1821, 

My dear Sister, 

I received yours of the 1st inst with infinite pleasure and regret 
extremely it is not in my power to be present at the solemnization of 
your marriage but my particular situation entirely prevents my 
having that gratification but be assured notwithsanding my heart 
most sincerely participates in your happiness and I wish you 
sincerely every happiness I am very happy in in the idea of your 
connexion with a worthy object and have just reason to hope and 
believe /your affections/ are not misplaced but let me give you a 
piece of advice which I hope will not be unaccepable perhaps we 
may never have an opportunity of conversing, as I have to pass 
through a perilous scence which may or may not terminate my 
existence our lives are in the power of providence but again the 
subject our happiness or misery in a measure depends on ourselves, 
be prudent unreserved & condescending and you will always 
retain the affections of your husband without which their is no<t> 
happiness in married life, none but dupes would submit to a reverse 
conduct and cone/c/ted with such a being we could not be 
otherways than miserable, this sage advice little corresponds with 
the preparation for a gay wedding, but serious hours will come at 
last, I suppose the death of Julia Hawks has disappointed you of an 
attendant, I saw <health> her death in the paper also poor Mr 
Ward whose death I sincerely regret, he is a great loss to his family. 
I am very sorry Ma's health is not perfectly restored, my not seeing 
you was a great disappointment I have looking all the fall for a 
visit we received a letter from William the other day he was quite 
well. Mr Pettigrew is in bad health we are all tolerably well, except 
him. he joins me in love to Mama, self and family and believe me 
ever your affectionate Sister — 

Ann B Pettigrew. 

Reccommend to Mama, a cure for her disease. Dr. Mead's Anti 
Dyspeptic, or stomach Pills, for indigestion, or sour stomach — they 
have made great cures with us and no doubt would perfectly restore 
her — 

[Addressed] Miss Mary W. Shepard 
N. Carolina 

26 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

Durand Hatch^ to Ebenezer Pettigrew a&h 

near Newbern 22nd Dec'' 1821— 

Dear Sir, 

I reed your Favor of 26^^ Nov^ Last this moment & Hasten to 
inform you, there has been for 12 months or there about three 
Negroes, that is runaways Lurking about my Plantation. I am 
informed two are yours. About 6 weeks past I was Hunting & came 
of their camp & when I perceived them I ordered them to stop & 
return to me or I would kill one of them, they immediately all three 
Stoped & got behind a tree each of them Presented their Guns at me 
about 40 or 50 yards of me, I ordered them to Drop their Guns or I 
woud kill one on the Spot, their reply was we cannot Drop our guns 
but if you will not Kill us we will lower their mussels & come to you 
if you will give your word you will not kill not try to take us. I ans^ I 
woud not. & ordered them to come & speak to me, accordingly they 
came or Two of them came & Spoke to me one yellow man said he 
belonged to you the other refused to ans'' Keeping their guns in 
good order to defend them selves, & woud not get nearer to Each 
other than about 10 steps, the yellow Boy appeared to be about 20 
years of age & said he belonged to you. I try 'd to prevail on him to go 
Home he Bitterly refused Sc said he wou'd Die first, for Sir, said he if 
my master was with you & had as good a gun as yours appear to be 
& I had nothing to Defend myself I wou'd not be Taken alive by 
you, he then informed me his name & the cause of his leaving of 
you which to me appeared to be very Trifling, for him to leave you 
for, his name I have forgot, I then tryed to prevail on him to let me 
intercede through M^ Shepherd for him but he still refused to go 
home on any Terms I then pointd out to him he woud be killed he 
said yes he expected to be so but he rather Die than return to you, 
this boy appered to have a good Countinance & spoke Freely to me 
verry Humble he said he was Shot at a few Days past — they had 
some of my Hogs then killed as I expected, then I informed them 
they must leave the Neighbourhood they said they wou'd I told 
them to take up that they had in possession & be of that Day, 
Hoping by specking to them as I Did I coud get some of my Friends 
& take them before they left their Camp, when I got home too men 
was at my House & was more at their camp in a very short Time but 
they were gone & I have heard nothing of them since, the Boy said 
a Mr Smith had bought a Blackboy of you that was with him & is 
gone Home to Smith a few weeks past. Smith lives at the Cross 
roads of Whiteoak River in Jones County & Said he had bought the 
Yellow Boy also but he wou'd not go to him from what I have been 
informed Smith has got one negro he said he bought of a Widow 
lady of your name this is negro nuse but I beleave it to be true. I will 

The Pettigrew Papers 27 

give the information you requested of me to give & will assist in 
taking of them if in my Power 

Respectfully I am your 

Obt Sert 

D. Hatch 

Mr E Pettigrew 

[Addressed] M^ 

E Pettigrew 

at Lake Phelps — 

^This was probably Durand (Durant) Potter Hatch, who lived near New Bern 
and was a friend of John Herritage Bryan. Parish Register of Christ Church, 
New Bern, Baptisms, 4; Ann Blount Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew, June 13, 
1822, note, in this volume. Durant Hatch represented Jones County in the 
North Carolina Senate in thirteen sessions between 1800 and 1824. Cheney, 
North Carolina Government, 241, 242, 244, 246, 248, 249, 251, 256, 260, 261, 278, 
279, 281. 

Ebenezer Pettigrew's Tax List unc 


List of Taxable property of E Pettigrew in Tyrrell Co 

Plantation at the Lake 305 Acres @ 20$ 6100 

Bee Tree tract— 90— @ 1.661/2 150 

Swamp at the mouth of canal 4 Acres @ 1.00 4 

3/4 Estern tract 5250 @ .25 1312.50 

5649 $7566.50 

6455 25 1613.75 

1 White Pole 

30 Black Ditto. 1822. 33. /B.P./ 1823. 35. 1825 

1822 List of Taxable property of E. & Mary Pettigrew in 
Wasington Co 

3 Acres Land on mal [Maul] creek @ $6 p^ A. 2310 

187 ditto on which M^s Pettigrew lives @ 10$ 1870 

411/4 d itto adjoining, bought of Willoby Phelps^ @ $3 123.75 

6131/4 4303.75 
10 Black Poles 

^ Willoughby Phelps of Washington County is listed in the 1820 Census Index, 

28 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

Ehenezer Pettigrew to James Cathcart Johnston UNC 

Lake Phelps— Feb. 4, 1822 

My dear Sir, 

With great pleasure I received your favour of 20 Nov. and with 
not less pleasure did I learn from it that you had, had so pleasant a 
trip up the country, I hope it has removed that devil you complain 
of (and which torments me so much) to such a distance from you 
that you may never more receive a visit from him. I regret very 
much not having the pleasure of a visit from you, but I poor devil 
seem to be not in prison bounds, as I once thought, but in close 
confinement where I can neither visit any one nor they approch 
me. However I will drop this subject. As respects Doct^^ Blount^ & 
M^" & Mi^s s/s attention to them I feel either too indignant or too 
insignificant to require of my friends to resent (against their will) 
slanders against my character, which if true would render me unfit 
for the company of those I wish to associate with, they must do as 
they please; but I have the power of /of/ seing and judging for my 
self. Let us jog on we will get to our journeys end after a while. I am 
very desirous to move from this place and to sell land and the 
greater part of the negroes and things belonging to /the/ planta- 
tion. Could you in your travils /find any one/ who would buy do 
send him to me and I would take it a great favour if you would take 
occasion to mention it if you sould see any person who you thought 
there was a possability of selling to. Of the value you have some 
knowledge and there is no place better fited for a quarter and the 
time may not be very far distant when it would be a comfortable 
residence for an owner, but I do not wish to wait any longer for a 

We have it extremely wet and the Lake is within 4 inches of a full 
head which gives me a good head for sawing, but plank is dul at 
even 14$ pr Thousand. On the 29 ult. M^^s Pettigrew was delivered of 
her fifth son,^ it is a stout healthy child, and she is as well as could 
be expected. We are all tolerable. 

My crop of corn gathered better than I expected and gives me a 
surplus which I have nearly sold at $3V2 pr bbl. I have sown a pretty 
large crop of wheat which I hope will command a better price than 
last crop. Mrs p, joins me in best respects to your sisters and please 
to assure yourself of the Esteem & Regard of your friend 

E Pettigrew 

[Addressed] James C Johnston Esqr 

The Pettigrew Papers 29 

^Dr. Frederick Blount (1778-1823) was the elder son of James and Ann Hall 
Blount. After studying medicine, he settled in New Bern in 1806. In 1807 he 
married a widow, Rachel Whitfield Bryan; they had two sons, Frederick S. and 
Alexander C. Hall, and several daughters. He was a first cousin to Ebenezer 
Pettigrew and Mary Blount Shepard (Mrs. William Shepard). Lemmon, 
Pettigrew Papers, I, xvi, 388n; Powell, DNCB, I, 177-178. The 1830 Census 
Index, 137, lists Rachel Blount as a head of household in Craven County. 

^The fifth son was James, who was lost overboard at sea on October 27, 1833. 
Works Progress Administration Cemetery Index, North Carolina Archives. See 
also Frederick S. Blount to John Herritage Bryan, November 7, 1833, in this 

Dr. James A. Norcom^ to Ebenezer Pettigrew UNC 

Plymouth Feby 19. 1822 


Happening to be at Mr Turners on the arrival of your letter it was 
put into my hand with a request that I would answer it: To oblige 
M^ Turner, & without any intention of obtruding my advice or 
opinion upon you except to serve you, I have consented to do it. 

The Salt of Tartar is a medicine that dissolves & disengages 
tenacious & viscid phlegm in parts with which it comes in contact; 
it promotes the secretions; & gently determines to the bowels: it is a 
good palliative in Hooping cough, but is not so serviceable as mild 
emetics, of Ipecac or antimonial wine frequently repeated, where 
the constitution is strong, the patient plethoric, the system 
inflammatory as indicated by a full strong pulse flushed counte- 
nance, hurried & painful breathing &c more active depletion 
becomes necessary (ie) bleeding & cathartics of salts or castor 
oil — On the contrary when the patient is weakly & delicate the 
pulse quick & weak & the constitution frail, less active measures 
will be found to answer best. 

very respectfully 
Ja Norcom 
[Addressed] Mr Eben^ Pettigrew 
Lake Phelps 

^Dr. James A. Norcom practiced medicine in Edenton. Lemmon, Pettigrew 
Papers, I, 288n; Wheeler, Historical Sketches, II, 124. His son. Dr. John 
Norcom, practiced in Washington, North Carolina. Guion Griffis Johnson, 
Ante-Bellum North Carolina (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 
1937), 728, hereinafter cited as Johnson, Ante-Bellum North Carolina. 

30 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

Ann Blount Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew UNC 

Newbern June 13th 1822— 

My dear Husband, 

You see I do not formally wait for a letter first from yourself but 
write without a knowledge of your safe arrival at home, which I 
hope you have without any disasters, there were several cool 
pleasant days after you left us, Charles & William cried excessively 
the day you left us to go with you, the little creatures were very 
disstressed. they still /say/ they wish to go to the Lake William has 
not forgotton the little dog — I have had as many visitors as I could 
wish, Mrs Hawks the widow I expected she would have resented 
her sons disappointment, of a ride in the Carriage, I thought her 
rather cool though scarcely perceiveable Charles & William have 
been very unwell, C. was taken in the afternoon with a high fever 
which continued all night. I was quite alarmed Ma. advised me to 
send for a Phisician but, knowing the good effect of Salts on him 
the next morning I concluded to give him a dose and with very 
great difficulty (for you well know his extreme obsinacy) I forced 
two spoonfulls down he used every resistance and I left him with a 
determination to send for a Doct if he did not get better but not 
<g>to give him any more Salts, fortunaty what he retain/e/d had 
the desired effect and he is now pretty well, William was seized 
with a vomiting which continued all day he is now recovered, so 
you see I jog on pretty much in old style though I have changed 
places, M'" Mason has paid us one visit he regretted extremely not 
knowing you were in town and begged I would appologise to you 
for his not calling to see you, he seemed really to regret it I believe 
him sincere; Mrs McKinley has gone to North so you must give her 
a call — likely you'll see Jhonny Daves, ^ he looks like Death & the 
cobler — I believe they tell many <unthru> untruths on his Wife,^ I 
heard the <the> other day — She gave (the negro who has run 
away) a very severe scurging and scratched his face all over which 
I believe a falsehood, this world — this world, oh it is a wicked world 
so given to slander, I hear a plenty here; Mrs. West^ was married 
last night in the most secret manner, Mary Bryan is the picture of 
happiness she is extremely fond of fashion and has to all 
appearance a very affectionate husband, they have been a few 
days to trenton — Mrs. Col. Armstead"* is very ill <very> with /a/ 
billious fever it will be a strange event if /she/ comes to Newbern to 
breath her last, it is said she had but just recovered from a billious 
attack; I hope my dear Husband you will not spend yours hours so 
lonely as you immagined as you expected, I feel extremely desirous 
to see you and most sincerely wish we lived where we never should 
be sepperated, but alas there is always some alloy, perhaps if we 
lived in society there would be a greater evil to contend with, after 

The Pettigrew Papers 31 

being in society a few weeks, I wonder how we can seclude 
ourselves /so much/ from the world, though the world is not a 
desireable one still society has it charms, give my love to your dear 
Mother — I intend writing next week to her — also remember me to 
all inquireing friends. Ma [torn] in love to you — and believe me my 

dear husband your ever [af]f — 

companion & sincere friend — 

Ann B Pettigrew — 

Penelope — setts off for E[mmitsbur]gh — Monday she says she 
wishes — she could carry James with her. 

When you come do bring Ma some turnip seed — there are some 
articles of the memorandum I left out — two turenes for soup — 

[Addressed] Mr. E. Pettigrew 


^This was probably John Pugh Daves of New Bern, the son of Maj. John 
Daves. The family had lived in New Bern since about 1770. John P. Daves was 
brother to the wife of Josiah Collins II. Ashe, Biographical History, II, 67, 70; 
Powell, DNCB, I, 405. 

2 John P. Daves married Jane R. Henry of New York in 1816; she died in 1827. 
Ashe, Biographical History, II, 70; Raleigh Register, February 16, 1816, June 
22, 1827. 

^Mrs. Elizabeth West, widow of John S. West, married Durand Hatch on June 
12, 1822, at the home of John Herritage Bryan. Raleigh Register, June 21, 1822; 
Parish Register of Christ Church, New Bern, Marriages, 129. 

^Elizabeth Stanly Armistead (Armstead), daughter of John Stanly of New 
Bern, was the wife of army officer Walter Keith Armistead (1785-1845). 
Lemmon, Pettigrew Papers, I, 476-477; Powell, DNCB, I, 42-43. 

Ehenezer Pettigrew to Ann Blount Pettigrew unc 

Lake Phelps June 21, 1822 

My dear girl, 

I should have writen you the last week but in the first place it had 
been so short a time since I left you and next when I intended to 
write I was quite too unwell arising from the dust of the machine, 
however I am now tolerable well, but exceedingly lonesome, it 
seems as though you had been gone tw^o months, but I will exercise 
all my philosophy and bear with my seperation as well as I can. I 
have one of the strongest motives, which is, that you are where you 
wish to be, (enjojdng the cumpany of those who are as dear as life to 
you) and with my perfect will and approbation. I can assure you 
my dear Nancy that your happiness is and has always been my 

32 N.C. Division op^ Archives and History 

first object and for two of the best reasons l^t I love and always 
have loved you better than <my> all other things in this world. 2"^ 
your conduct ever since I knew you always entitled you to every 
indulgence that was in any ones power to give, and if I know my 
own heart one of /my/ greatest distresses has been, that I was not 
in a situation to do what my desire prompted. However I drop this 
subject for it is but writing what I have one hundred times told you, 
and if my conduct does not prove the tenderness my heart to you 
my declarations can never produce conviction in you, that I love. 
However tender & affectionate words are very greatfull with kind 

I shall finish harvist today and should have got done yesterday 
but was prevented by rain I have had fine weather for it; no rain 
since I came home untill yesterday and then not near <enou> 
enough for the corn which is very likely and promisses to be an 
abundant crop. My wheat is rather better than for several years 
back though only tolerable; I think it probable I shall not be able to 
get off with it untill about the middle of July. 

I had forgot to inform you of my trip home from Newbern I got to 
Swift creek to dinner and it began to rain and continued so late that 
I staid all night; the next /morning/ I got to M^ Trotters^ to 
breakfast and in the evening to Jacksons, when I was very unwell 
with my bowels and the head ache. The next day I got to mothers, 
who was not very well; she has the fever & agues, the next day to 
the Lake, when you must know I felt wretched. I was not a little 
motifyed at being obliged to stay all night within 16 miles of my 
dear wife & children and almost induced to turn back to Newbern 
as the evening came on. 

I wish you would ask your Ma to have an Epitaph writen for poor 
Hannah, and send it in your next, and I will when I go on to New 
York have a tomb stone for her grave. Keep a coppy of the Epitaph 
lest the letter may be lost. Do write often and particularly and pray 
take care of yourself. Give my affectionate remembrance to your 
Mama & all the family. Kiss the dear little boys for me and believe 
me to be your affectionate Husband 

E Pettigrew 

N.B. I began to Harvist on Monday after my return on Saturday., 
the wheat fully ripe. June 22. We had a fine rain last Evening & 
night & the corn is in full season 

M^^s Ann B. Pettigrew 

[Addressed] M^s Ann B Pettigrew. 


The Pettigrew Papers 33 

' Thomas Trotter was an engineer, inventor, and manufacturer of machinery. 
A Scotsman, he worked near Edenton for Josiah ColHns, Charles Pettigrew, 
and others until he moved to Prospect Hill, near Washington, North Carolina, 
prior to 1809. Trotter was a prolific correspondent. Lemmon, Pettigrew Papers, 
I, 91n. 

Ebenezer Pettigrew to Ann Blount Pettigrew unc 

Lake Phelps July 2, 1822 

With very great pleasure my dearest Girl, I received your 
affectionate letter of the 13^^ June on the 23. And no less was I 
gratifyed to find that you waited for no formalities, You my dear, 
know that I have always been opposed to anything of /that/ sort 
/<that>/ between man & wife, and I hope that after this there will 
not remain one latent spark of it in your breast; nor in your acts; let 
me tell you that you have the least reason of any one I ever knew. 
Familiarity begets familiarity and you very well know that I never 
exercised the least distance or secrecy towards you, no my dear 
wife my whole heart and soul has been open to you, and I never 
expect so long as we live to have a secret from you. To be reserved to 
my dear companion the sweet mother of children and the source of 
all my comfort, would be like making any part of my own body 
reserved to my hand or eye. 

I am glad your old friends had not forgot you and that you 
received those attentions which I think you so eminently deserving 
I am sorry to learn of the childrens indisposition, but the pain & 
pleasure come together, they are recovered & I hope at this time are 
quite well. I could have wished you had said something of your own 
health, whether you had, had any simptoms of your complaint & 
whether your appetite & strength was improving, these are 
particulars of much importance to my feelings. Do tell M^^ Mason I 
should have been very glad to have seen him and that his appology 
is accepted. I have no doubt of his sincerity. With your letter came a 
Newbern Paper in which was the marriage of M^s West. All is for 
the best. 

I am very happy in the confirmation of my opinion as respects 
the happiness of a certain Lady mentioned in your letter. No doubt 
but her husband loves her with ardour and that he is /the/ man of 
all others whome she prefered; all those things combined cannot 
fail to make a couple happy. & Heaven bless the woman who can be 
kind, affectionate & dutiful her husband where there is any other 
person of her acquaintance, who she would prefer as one. 

I pass the time tolerably composed. I rise by day light and sleep 
little or none untill bedtime which I suppose arrises from the 

34 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

anxiety <from> /of/ being alone. I find it very distressing to be in 
the sun, so much so that I do not stay with the hands as much as I 
expected I should after you were gone. I cordially agree with you in 
a wish that we were so situated as never to be separated and wish 
also that we lived in more society, but there are great evils in too 
much, better for many persons that they lived in the dismals. I 
think we have had more enjoyment of each others cumpany than if 
we had lived in the fashionable world, which to me would be 
exchanging a pleasure, I could always look back at with delight for 
someting which rarely bears reflecting on. Did we ever spend a day 
in retired converse which I regreted? No. but m/an/y pleasurable 
hours have I had in thinking of the past. I have now gone through 
and answered your letter, let me ask of you the favour of doing the 
same after the receit. Pray do not be [in] a hurry but write as I do 
under the idea that you are conversing with me. The hand which 
conveyed your letter to me carry ed one for you to the office which I 
hope you received in due time. I write thus early from the pure 
pleasure which I take in conversing with /you/ though through 
the quil, knowing [torn] the same time that I impart a pleasure to 
them that it has always delighted me pleases and one <to> /who/ 
takes great interest in /my/ gratification. I see advertised a 
concert of sacred music also the Elephant to be seen. I hope my 
dear you will not loose any amusements under a notion of 
economy, believe me there is not the slightest reason and if I knew 
it, it would distress me very much I walked out to mothers & back 
on Sunday the 22 with little or no fatigue, she was very unwell that 
night with the S^^ day fever & ague. We are all tolerable well I hope 
you are all in the same state, also Remember me to all & believe me 
your ever affect Husband 

E Pettigrew 
[Addressed] Mrs Ann B. Pettigrew 

Ehenezer Pettigrew to Ann Blount Pettigrew unc 

Lake Phelps Sep 10, 1822 

My dearest Love 

With heart fealt pleasure I received your affectionate letter on 
the S^h gep. informing me of the compleat restoration of your 
stomach to its proper tone, I pray God it may continue, and to that 
end my dear girl let me beg of you /to/ persist in your determination 
not to trespass on it, and neither to stop from the use of means 
which you think have been so beneficial to you when ever you 
think you nead them in the smallest degree. I have now a ten fold 

The Pettigrew Papers 35 

pleasure in my trip to see /you/ when I bilieve that while there I 
placed you in the way which has brought you to the present state. O 
my dear, all my happiness depends on bringing you through this 
troblesome world with peace, safty, & Love. Yes what I once 
promised in ardour of Love I will alway do, not because I promised 
but because I will it, because it imparts to me the only real 
happiness this world can give, /& because I Loved you then & Love 
you no less now./ O Nancy what what would this wourld present to 
me if you were gone from me? nothing but a dreary void an empty 
space, for I can with most perfect truth say that you and you alone 
have occupied my whole affection and warmest Love from the first 
time I ever saw you. I am very sorry to learn that your Mamas 
health continues so bad. I wish most sincerely she could be 
prevailed on to take the pills; M^ Carraway thinks that if he had 
persisted in them in the early stage of his disease they would 
certainly have made a cure of him. I do not think the eggs will 
answer for your Ma now but have no doubt but the pills would; do 
try and persuade her to take them. I am sorry to learn of Mr Masons 
indisposition and that we shall loose the chance of geting little 
James christianed; if he is not gone give my respects to him. 

I rejoice with you that our dear children are in good health my 
pleasure in learning their health was lost in the joy which I felt in 
your restoration. George promises to attend to the selery I also 
attend to the cherries and when I returned from visiting you found 
the peaches fit to dry, all which I had cut, and they made a great 
show when gathered but dont promise yourself too many, we have 
had a great job to dry them in this rainy season, they are now 
nearly dry and I believe all safe. I have the greatest abundance of 
Figs. O, that you had some of them. The wheat which I shipped 
before I visited you arrived safe and sold tolerable well and I have 
received all the articles sent for, all which you are concerned in I 
think you will be pleased with. I think they come lower than I ever 
got before; among the most prominent articles are the China (all 
safe except the 2 sauce ladles got their handles broke, whether my 
dear would it not be better to have silver) Baithing tub, rocking 
chair, and supurb knives, which I fear will plague you half to 

I /am/ now shiping the remainder of my wheat & a parcel of 
plank to Baltimore. Will you write me in your next whether you 
wish me to bring your Pelliece when I come. I will take your kind 
advice not to expose myself; I have not been quite [torn] for this 
week past, but am better today, my complaint is something of what 
they call the burning ague, every day alike. I cannot tell you when 
to look for me my business is such, it may be the first of Octi* or after 
the middle, you will hear from me again in due time <again> pray 
keep on writing. The house I am building is the obsticle, I /have/ 5 

36 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

workmen now, and expect 2 more next week. Fearing that you may 
want money I have inclosed you 20 dollars which I hope you will 
get safe. Mother is quite recovered she desired me to give her Love 
to you when I wrote. Remember me affectionately to your Ma. Kiss 
the children for me and believe me your ever affect Husband 

E Pettigrew 
[Addressed] Mrs Ann B. Pettigrew 

Newbern N.C. - 

Ebenezer Pettigrew to Ann Blount Pettigrew UNC 

Lake Phelps Sep. 17, 1822 

My dearest Girl, 

I wrote you dated the lO^h Inst, which I hope you have received 
before this. In it was inclosed twenty dollars. We have been a good 
deal sickly with fever & ague. James died last week, his complaint 
was that pain in the neck which he had in the winter it continued to 
the last, the Doctor says it is a new complaint. Edmond, Melas 
youngest child died on Sunday last, I suppose with worms. I came 
from Mothers yesterday she & M^^ West^ send their Love to you and 
your Ma. She is well. In my last I wrote you I was unwell I am now 
quite recovered. Frederick [Shepard ?] is with me he is tolerable well 
but labours under great costiveness. I have this morning given him 
a dose of salts. This will be handed you by M^ SpruilP or Ben who 
goes for the purpose of bringing away my runaway. Pray give 
yourself no uneasyness about my conduct to him. I do not expect to 
lay my hand on him. I have writen to M^ Bryan concerning Pomp 
but if he should be from town <but if he should be from town> will 
you be so good as to get M^ Furlow, M'" Duncan or M^ Bell to go with 
him and with your assurance to either of them M^ Spruill can get 
him. I wrote to M^ Bryan the date of your letter requesting him to 
make arrangments in case of his absence when I sent. If /he/ has 
got the letter he has no doubt done it. I have sent your Pellice by 
this opportunity if the trunk will hold my coat you will send it in 
return that I may not incumber the carriage. Remember me affect, 
to your Mama 

and believe me as ever your affect 

and loving husband 

E Pettigrew 

N.B. Inclosed is the Key of the trunk 

[Addressed] Mrs. Ann B Pettigrew 

The Pettigrew Papers 37 

^Mrs. West was a relative of Mary Lockhart Pettigrew. Ann Blount Pettigrew 
to Mary Williams Bryan, July 11, 1826, in this volume. 

^The Spruill family in Tyrrell and Washington counties was extensive. The 
1830 Census Index, 176, lists seven family heads in Tyrrell and twenty-five in 
Washington, the latter including Amelia and Dempsey mentioned in this 

John C. Calhoun to Ebenezer Pettigrew a&h 

Washington 26th March 1823 

Dear Sir, 

I have delayed answering your letter of the 12th Nov^ till after the 
rising of Congress, in order that I might give you the general 
opinion, which was entertained of your wine;^ and am much 
gratified to say, that with little exception, it has been found to be 
excellent. It was, however, generally thought, that it would still be 
better, if instead of the apple brandy, the French, or some other less 
dissimilar in its taste from the wine, had been used; or if it had been 
manufactured without brandy at all. These were, however, mere 
conjectures and probably were erroneous. 

Your wine was so much esteem, that I was continually asked, if it 
could be obtained of the same quality; and I promised to request 
you to send a cask to M^ Lloyd, ^ Senator from Massachusetts, at 
Bost[oAi], another to David B. Ogden Esqr^ of New York, and Virgil 
Maxcy Esqr."^ near Annapolis to be sent to Baltimore. I would be 
much gratified, if you could send each of them a cask, as it would 
contribute to extend the knowledge and reputation of so fine a 
domestick wine, they being all gentlemen of the first standing in 

Very Respectfully 
J. C. Calhoun 
E. Pettigrew Esqr. 

[Addressed] E. Pettigrew Esqr of 
Lake Phelps 
No Carolina 

'The history of the scuppernong grape and wine-making industry is detailed 
in Clarence Gohdes, Scuppernong: North Carolina's Grape and Its Wines 
(Durham: Duke University Press, 1982). 

2 James Lloyd (1769-1831) of Boston held a seat in the United States Senate 
from 1808 to 1813 and again from 1822 to 1826. Biographical Directory of 
Congress, 1227. 

■^David Bayard Ogden (1775-1849) of New York City was a lawyer well known 
for his presentations before the United States Supreme Court. Joseph G. E. 

38 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

Hopkins and others (eds.), Concise Dictionary of American Biography (New 
York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1964), 745, hereinafter cited as CDAB. 

Wirgil Maxcy (1785-1844), a lawyer, served as a Maryland legislator, first 
solicitor of the United States Treasury, and charge d'affaires in Belgium. 
CDAB, 656. 

Ann Blount Pettigrew to Mary Williams Bryan a&h, bryan 

Lake Phelps, Octr 7—1823. 

My dear sister, 

Your letter of the 18th Sept. I received with infinite pleasure, 
Bonaparte was not more delighted at receiving letters from Europe 
during his exile at S^ Helena than I am at hearing from my dear 
friends, I am very sorry to hear that Mr Bryan has such ill health, 
you should take good care of him good husbands are very rarely to 
be found, we are peculiarly fortunate indeed, poor D^ct Blount's 
death ^ we heard of, poor unfortunate man, he indeed was the sport 
of his violent passions, I believe he had many estimable qualities, a 
good charitable heart he possessed, but he has retreated from the 
storms of life I hope to experience the forgiv<ness>ing and all 
attoning Redeemer's love, what a hope, & consolation for dying 
sinners as we are all by nature. I am extremely obliged to Mama for 
her affectionate invitation, do assure her it is not for the want of 
affection, or desire to do so, that I shall not visit her this season 
nothing could give me more pleasure than to meet my dear 
brothers and sisters at that time but circumstances will not permit 
me to enjoy that happiness. I am happy to hear of Penelope's 
arrival, I hope to see her with John and his wife on their way to 
Newbern they certainly will come, William we hear nothing from I 
hope nothing has befallen him, I love him very much, he is an 
amiable man, but too silent as respects himself. 

I am happy your town enjoys such health, it is not the cas<t>e at 
Edenton, we are pretty well, we have a little Doct here who is quite 
skilful also quite genteel. Quite likely Mrs Mason's nervous head 
ache is attributed to the right cause, they are like two turtle doves 
no doubt perfectly happy. Surely Madam Natty's folks are not 
going to take things as they have done, well it is an evil tide that 
never turns so they say, who knows what our fortune may be, poor 
Mrs. Armstead needs all the pleasure she can have to enjoy life, I 
think these people who are constantly gadding about — from 
Shocco to Saratoga from thence to the city &c. — are in a state of 
most perfect derangement. Newbern must appear very dull to 
Madam Mac [Mc /Cm/ay ?]— now— . 

Mr Blount^ died of ague and fever it is said but was bled 
improperly his friends are very distressed, his wife bore his loss 

The Pettigrew Papers 39 

with unlocked for fortitude, fortunate for her she can recover from 
so great a loss. 

Charles, William & James with myself all send Theodore a 
thousand kisses stale presents to send so far. 

Mr. Pettigrew <sends> joins me in love to Mr Bryan — & yourself 
also to Mama — and the children. 

Believe me your affectionate sister, 

Ann Pettigrew. 

PS. I sent for a cloake like Mama's are they worn by the ladies, do 
write me if you please, Never write a shorter letter than your last, I 
have nothing to write but you have an abundance of something 
that is agreeable to me, anything from our native place in highly 
interesting — the most trifling occurrence, oh how delightful for 
bretheren to dwell together. Those who have never been sepperated 
are unconcious of the happiness they enjoy, 

Youraff ABP. 

Please remember me to all enquireing friends, 

[Addressed] Mrs Mary W. Bryan, 


'Dr. Frederick Blount died on September 5, 1823. Raleigh Register, September 
26, 1823. 

"Possibly Nancy refers to the death of Joseph Blount, who had lived at 
Windsor and who died at Oxford, North Carolina, on September 1, 1823. 
Raleigh Register, September 5, 1823. 

Ebenezer Pettigrew to James Cathcart Johnston unc 

Lake Phelps Jan 12, 1824 

My dear Sir, 

Your highly esteemed favour of July came to hand in due time 
and would have been answered long before this, but for the 
information in that letter of your being about to set out on your 
falls excurtion, at which time I could not know where to reach you 
with a letter, and since your return I have been too sick untill very 
late. It is certain I have writen a few letters on business but the 
labour of thinking was very great. I was taken sick the 12th of 
October and untill the week of Christmas, I had but little hope of 
living longer than March; since that I have increased in health, 
and am only afflicted with rheumatism, it is all over my system but 

40 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

does not yet deprive me of walking and I can put on my cloths, but 
the hand with which I write, I am not able at this time to shut. 

The expressions in the first of your letter were truely gratifying, 
in as much as they come from a friend who never flatters. If my 
friendship and Esteem for my friends has not been of the most 
sincere kind, I have decived myself. But Alas! my old friends have 
nearly all deserted me. However let me tell you my dear friend that 
I always considered you as an unshaken one & that you would 
duely appretiate me, and if I have lost them, I have the consolation 
of not being conscious of its arising from my unworthiness. 

The friendship and esteem of an honest & sincere man is a jewel 
indeed, but there seems to be such a mass of corruption & duplicity 
pervading all societies that man appears satisfied with the 
semblance of it. Whatever I might have been in early life, I am very 
badly calculated for such prisons now. I am too old to begin to learn 
the fashions of this learned & polite age, viz. be very civil, do you a 
favour, go to church on sunday, perhaps receive the sacrement, 
and cheat on monday a poor unsuspecting man out of half his hard 
earnings for half a dozen years. 

As the fall has passed away without the pleasure of seeing you I 
hope to have it by or before the spring, but I almost despair. An 
evenings conversation is a favour which rests with you to give; my 
time is not my own or you might be certain I would not stay in this 
low country with my family to endanger their lives and at any rate 
to be deprived of all pleasure from sickness of some of them all the 
fall. My house has been an hospital during the whole time & all I 
can say is thank God we are all alive. I know that I am rong to 
indulge in melancholy at the corruption of man, more particularly 
when I see little else; and when I have that which no human being 
can take from me; an approving mind. I thought my business was 
brought to a close in September, but by an error which was made in 
their own deed and in their own favour the business has been 
defered untill another hearing. At sighining I inadvertantly 
overlooked it and if they insist on having the deed proven as it now 
is, I shall be obliged to enter a protest. I ought never to deal with 
persons whose sole object is to get the advantage; but to employ an 
agent adapted to the business. 

Although I have been sick all the fall I have endeavoured to keep 
my people busy, and have consequently sown 120 acres of ground 
in wheat, it is all prime ground, sown in good season, looks [torn] 
and I promise myself a good crop. I planted last spring 100 acres of 
ground in corn, it was in fine order and the season was good, but 
the chince bug (an enemy I never saw before) attacked it and 
instead of 1200 barrils I gathered but 600; however from the 
present price there is not much difference between 6 & 1200 barrils 

The Pettigrew Papers 41 

When in Edenton in September I sunk my debt with M^^" C[ollins]. 
about 1200 dollars it is now about 2100, which I hope my next 
harvest will extinguish. M^^ Pettigrew joins me in best respects to 
the Ladies & yourself and assure yourself of my sincere friendship 

E Pettigrew 

James C. Johnston Esqr 

[Addressed] James C. Johnston Esqr 

Ann Blount Pettigrew to Mary Williams Bryan a&h, bryan 

Lake Phelps April 20th 1824. 

My dear Sister, 

I am pleased to know you do not formerly wait for an answer to 
your letter previous to the last, be assured I duly appreciate your 
goodness, also /I wish you to know when I am neglectful/ that 
something unavoidable always prevents my enjoying that delicious 
pleasure of conversing with my dear Sister through the quil; I am 
sorry to inform you Mr Pettigrew still continues in the same state, 
his fingers are very stiff and he suffers very much he desires you 
will tell Mr Bryan that he should have written <written> him long 
ere this but he is totally unable, his hands are almost useless. We 
are happy to hear of Mr Bryan's good health, I hope Theodore has 
quite recovered, give him a kiss for me. Mr Pettigrew exercises the 
greatest patience and fortitude although he suffers so much he 
rarely complains, I flatter myself the warm weather will have some 
good effect, but it appears as though we shall never have com- 
fortable weather again, I suppose my anxiety over passes the 

We had a visit from Brother W, last week he was quite well, I 
rather suspect he has a sligh notion of Miss Nancy [Anne Daves 
Collins], she appears to be a very fine girl much prettier than her 
Sister Several of the family spent last week on the Lake, they said 
very much to their satisfaction, they are indeed very dressy, they 
appear to have been delighted with their visit to Newbern, so gay 
so hospitable What a place for rich people this Newbern is. I 
shewed William your letter, he was highly diverted with Cousin 
Jacky's singular or unappropriate taste in being represented with 
his arm resting on a pile of books a quile indeed would have been 
much more suitable, I understand he is a widower for a short time, 
his wife Mary having taken a visit home with Miss J. 

42 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

I received a letter from Frederick [Shepard] the other day, he 
complains very much of his relations not writing him, he says 
Penelope writes once in an age just enough to tell him they are not 
all dead, his letters are very affectionate he has an affectionate 

I am very much grieved to think of not seeing Mother at the time 
appointed, We heard such shocking news of the Small Pox raging 
in Washington We thought in unnecessary to send the horses, I 
understand all communication between Washington and Newbern 
is prevented. Mr Pettigrew desires to be remembered to Mr Bryan 
and yourself, also our love to Ma — and family 

and accept the same from your aff. sister, 

Ann B Pettigrew. 

Mrs Bryan 

Please turn over 

PS Mr Pettigrew says. Mrs Bryan <says> did you have the head 
ache while you were at Raliegh! this question arrises from some 
information from William relative to a ball in New hern. Mr 
Pettigrew has not lost his spirits he is yet fond of joking 

[Addressed] Mrs Mary W Bryan, 
New Bern, 


Ann Blount Pettigrew to Mary Williams Bryan a&h, bryan 

Lake Phelps May 27th i824. 

My dear Sister, 

I dislike sending so much blank paper to my friends which must 
be the case when I have so little to communicate, that to be candid I 
have almost formed a dislike for letter writing, that delightful 
medium for communicating our ideas or expressing our feelings to 
each other, sepperated friends ought to rejoice at the priviledge of 
such a blessing to civilization. 

Mr Pettigrew's health is something better he now can sleep 
tolerably well without taking opium, but his hands are still very 
much contracted so much so that he uses them very little, some of 
his fingers are almost drawn double, the weather continues so very 
cold or I flatter myself he would get much better, it is a very great 
affliction but /he/ bears it with great fortitude, when our afflictions 
eminate from Divine Providence we ought to be assured they are 
always for a wise purpose or for the health of our Souls, if we would 

The Pettigrew Papers 43 

only believe so we should always boast or rejoice after an illness or 
visitations in any respect. 

Mrs Sawyer^ was very desireous for me to visit Edenton during 
the visit of /Bishop/ Ravenscroft,^ I should have been delighted to 
have done so but unavoidable circumstances prevented me, The 
Bishop has a very pious and pleasing character much admired I 
believe for his exalted piety and sociability of disposition. 

I received a letter a few weeks sinse from Cousin Fanny 
Lardner,^ she says Mr BedelP is exceedingly admired in Philadel- 
phia, more so than I should have believed possible, I heard him 
once in Newbern and was rather unfavourably impressed, Fanny 

L s letters are elegantly written they are very long and I really 

view them as something worth receiveing, they contain more news 

of P and our relations than I have heard since I left them, she is 

not a branch but a different stalk from the Biddies, I rather think 
her situation is a disagreeble one she expresses great affection for 
me and I think her sincere. 

Do inform me of the state of Mother's health and Penelope, I 

shall write very soon to both Ma & Sister P. tell P Prince 

Hohenloe^ will be a charming subject for her next letter I wish we 
may find the story /not/ a fallacious one I am too far in the woods 
to know any thing about it. 

Mr Pettigrew joins me in love to you all, he is unable to write, do 
write me as early as possible and believe me as ever your 

affectionate sister, 
Ann B Pettigrew. 

Mrs M Bryan— 

I was heartily grieved that we were so much disappointed by the 
Small Pox though before very long I hope to see my dear relations, 
we had our children vaccinated their arms were very sore. 

[Addressed] Mrs Mary W. Bryan, 


^Mrs. Sawyer of Edenton, a family friend, is mentioned several times in the 
first volume of Pettigrew papers. She was probably Mrs. Margaret Sawyer, the 
wife of Dr. Matthias E. Sawyer. Lemmon, Pettigrew Papers, 1, 500, 524, 600, 604, 
616; Raleigh Register, December 15, 1826. See also Ebenezer Pettigrew to Ann 
Blount Pettigrew, December 5, 1826, in this volume. 

2John Stark Ravenscroft (1772-1830) was consecrated bishop of the Pro- 
testant Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina in 1823. He recorded in his journal 
a visit to Mary Lockhart Pettigrew on April 27, 1825. Marshall DeLancey 
Haywood, Lives of the Bishops of North Carolina (Raleigh: Alfred Williams 
and Company, 1910), 37-38, hereinafter cited as Haywood, Lives of the Bishops. 

44 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

'^William Shepard's sister Anne married one Lardner of Philadelphia, and 
Fannie was their daughter. Shepard genealogical material, Moore Collection, 
PC 1406. 

^This was Gregory T. Bedell, who had been rector of St. John's Episcopal 
Church in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Journal of the Diocesan Convention, 
1819, 3; Journal of the Diocesan Convention, 1821, 3. 

^Hohenlohe was the name of a German princely family in the areas of 
Wurttemberg and Bavaria. Webster's Biographical Dictionary (Springfield, 
Mass.: G. and C. Merriam Company, 1966), 719. 

[Dr.] Thomas Old to Dr. Samuel Henry^ a&h 

Skinnersville, N. Carolina July 1824 


By the request of M^ Ebenezer Pettigrew, who has been informed 
of some cases of his Disease from the Town of Washington in this 
State, successfully managed by you, I herewith transmit a state- 
ment of his case, so as to enable you to form a correct opinion of the 
real nature of his disease, and to advise what will for the future be 
probably the most appropiate method of treatment. 

Mr P. is in about his 42nd year, rather robust in make with some 
degree of apparent laxity in fibre, of the nervous temperament and 
nearly approaching a Scrofulous Diathesis. His habits until the 
last two years have been active if not laborious — shunning alike 
the indulgencies of the table and the escapes of the bottle. Since the 
period of puberty he has enjoyed almost uninterrupted health, 
checked only by those occasional attacks of Fall Fever which the 
inhabitants of the South are never exempt from. In early life his 
constitution was delicate and he was strangly threatened with an 
attack of Phthisis, all symptoms of which however in a few years 
entirely left him. Within the two last years his manner of living has 
been more indulgent as to exercise but not less temperate in other 
respects. Last Fall he had two attacks of lnt[ermittent]. Fever 
closely following each other. During convalescence less Bark was 
taken than the case required and his recovery was slow — cold 
weather set in and he was attacked with chronic Rheumatism. A 
system a good deal debilitated by previous Disease in which there 
existed a strong hereditary predisposition to Rheumatism offered 
ready access to its influences at that time. The joints of the fingers 
were first affected with nodosities which gradually became painful, 
at the same time or nearly so accompanied with soreness & pain in 
the larger joints, particularly the shoulders, knees, hips & Back. In 
the large joints it was rather a sensation of stiffness & soreness on 
motion, than much pain. In the hand and wrist it was more 
painful, considerable external tumefaction and a very considerable 

The Pettigrew Papers 45 

retraction of and rigidity of the Flexor tendens of the fingers. As 
summer came on the pain & soreness abated slowly but the 
immobility & rigidity of the fingers has remained nearly the same 
until this time. I will now give the plan of treatment adopted in the 
earlier stages of his complaint. The Disease was pretty firmly fixed 
before medicine was recurred to. As he had been subject to slight 
attacks of it for some years in the shoulder particularly, and no 
permanent ill consequences had arisen, the same termination was 
hoped for in the present instance. When I was first called to him I 
was lead to notice particularly the situation of the superior 
extremities, dreading a partial if not entire and permanent rigidity 
of the joints, which induced me to apply a large Blister to the hand 
conjointly with the exhibition of the usual internal remedies. This 
produced but little if any benefit and was succeeded by the use of 
frictions with a number of stimulant and volatile substances, all of 
which however if useful at all, were but temporarily so. The 
internal medicines prescribed were Guiac, Lavin, Camphphor, and 
opium assisted by Dileunts seperately or variously combined 
according to circumstances. The violence of the disease was no 
doubt mitigated but not removed by these remedies, which were 
continued until the warm weather came when seeing their in- 
efficiency, they were all abandoned, trusting to the change of 
season to accomplish what medicine had failed to do. The pulse 
was irritable, but feeble. Depletion in any shape was manifestly 
injurious, greatly increasing the debility and local Disease. The 
cold Bath was tried without advantage. Opium produced a more 
positive alleviation of pain and a greater relaxation and flexibility 
of the joints than any thing else, but in the more advanced period of 
the Disease the functions of the stomach became slightly impaired, 
manifested by occasional nausea & temporary pain in that organ, 
which occurred however but a few times in all. It was feared the use 
of Opium might have aided the appearance of this symptom and 
that its continuance wo^ be likely further to enervate its powers. 
Since the spring he has taken nothing in the way of medicine. His 
appetite had become good which indeed was generally the case 
throughout his Disease and he had got quite corpulent — as heavy 
as he ever was Within the last fortnight he has had several fits of 
Int. Fever which has somewhat reduced his general health. From 
this however he is rapidly recovering. The hands & fingers yet 
continue in nearly the same state, excepting that there is but little 
if any pain, and no swelling or soreness, now and then a stiffness 
in the large joints and but little pain or soreness in them. The great 
object is to restore flexibility & motion to the fingers & hands and 
to remove the general predisposition which still lingers in the 
system, liable again to be excited into activity upon the return of 

46 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

cold weather. If this can be effected, it is of the first consequence 
that it be done immediately. 

If practicable, it is very desirable for him to remain on his Farm, 
while the cure is attempted, as his business must be greatly 
neglected in his absence. But if you concieve the use of any mineral 
waters wo^ conduce greatly in hastening or add to the facility of 
the cure he may perhaps be prevailed on to give them a trial. 
Electricity or Galvanism are remedies that were formerly highly 
recommended in the management of this Disease, tho more rarely I 
believe recurred to in the present day. They are probably not 
destitute of utility. Mercury cannot be born to the extent necessary 
to do good, I am convinced from my experience with his constitution 
in other Diseases. From the description I have given, you might 
presume the Disease to be Gout instead of chronic Rheumatism 
Altho. I confess there is some similarity to that Disease, I am of the 
opinion it is the latter, 1st Because Rheumatism is hereditary in his 
family, his father having been afflicted with at about the same age 
the Son was first attacked with it. 2nd Because it was not confined 
to one joint but attacked many at the same time & pervaded the 
muscular system generally. S^fd From the Disease not being 
preceded or accompanied by any disorder of the stomach until a 
late period after its origin. 4th Because Gout in the onset never 
remains so long, nor does rigidity of the joints arise as a 
consequence but from repeated attacks. 

I hope I have said enough to give you a tolerable correct idea of 
the situation of Mr P. — such a one as will afford you a successful 
indication of cure. I think there is a general tendency to rigidity in 
the muscular fibre and that the chief & important indication is to 
counteract or remove this State. It being at present in the 
extremities, on the verge of the sanguiferous system, chiefly in 
tendinous parts where the vital powers are languid, adds much to 
the difficulty of the case. But tis possible if the general Rheumatic 
predisposition of the system is vanquished the local Disease will as 
consequence yield. 

You will be so good as to attend to this communication without 
delay by sending written advice, together with medicine & & 
Directions to M^ Ebenezer Pettigrew, Skinnersville Washington 
County N.C. As this will be handed you by M^ Van Bocklen,^ M^^ 
P.'s agent in N. York it will perhaps be the most eligible to put in his 
possession your letter & medicines & he will have an opportunity of 
forwarding them direct to N. Carolina more expeditiously than by 

Yr. Ob: Sev: 
Thos: Old 

Dr. Sam Henry New York 

The Pettigrew Papers 47 

[Addressed] Dr. Samuel Henry 
New York 
To the care of 
Mr A. H. V Bokkelin 

^No additional information about either of these two physicians has been 

^The Van Bokkelen family was from New Bern and had a mercantile office in 
New York. Adrian H. Van Bokkelen was living in New Bern as late as 1844, 
where he was an active member of Christ Church. He died in 1846. Journal of 
the Twenty-Eighth Annual Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in 
the State of North Carolina . . . 1844 (Fayetteville: Edward J. Hale, 1844), 3, 
hereinafter cited as Journal of the Diocesan Convention, 1844; Parish Register, 
Christ Church, New Bern, Burials, 91. 

Ebenezer Pettigrew to James Cathcart Johnston unc 

Aug. 3rd 1824. Lake Phelps 

My dear Sir, 

Having again recovered the use of my fingers so as to write I take 
up the pen. Though I can write my fingers are yet stiff, I can neither 
shut nor straighten them, in truth my disease is yet in all my 
system and I have no hope of ever having the full use of my hands 
again, but I am resigned to my fate. I think I have had as little 
depression of spirits this year as any preceding. It was with very 
great pleasure I received your favour of 12 <Jan.> /March/ and 
should have answered it due time, but about the first of Feb. I was 
deprived of that pleasure which has continued untill about three 
weeks. I regret very much the untoward event which deprived me 
of the pleasure of your company at the time you mention. I almost 
dispair. O! what an out of the way place do I live in. It is well 
adapted for a quarter, but not a residence of the owner. Your 
company will be always truely desirable to me whether in sickness 
or in health most I am unable to say. Though you have declined 
appointing a time of visiting me I still entertain a strong hope of 
seeing you once more before I go hence. I am sensible of the time 
necessary to bestow on your several farms, by that which mine 
requires, but my dear Sir, when a man /has/ two or three he must 
depend on deputies and has rather more time, than when he 
commands one in person and has to give dayly orders and see them 

Do not think by the account I give you of my health that I am a 
poor emaciated being with scarce any flesh on my bones. I am as 
corpulent as I ever was, with a pretty good appetite, yet my 
physical power is gone. If I was set on the floor it would be with the 

48 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

greatest difficulty, I could get up, I cannot carve a chicken nor can I 
pull of my cloths. As respects the deceit & dissimulation of 
mankind my mind is made up. I look for little else, but the 
misfortune in me is that I am sometimes by an impetuosity of 
temper constrained to talk of it. I have some curiosity to know who 
it is that has lately shown you his cloven foot. I see a great degree of 
unjustifyable selfishness which never fails to excite my ill temper. 
There is nothing like news in this place, and my pidling concerns 
must be very uninteresting to you, but that you may know that my 
mind has lost none of its energy I will give you a short detail of my 
opperations. Last fall I took the roof off my machinehouse house, 
also the roof off my barn took down the sheds which covered the 
machinery between the two houses, added 15 ft to the front of the 
barn so as to make it 40 ft; the width of the machinehouse, and 
covered the whole with one roof thereby giving a loft 1 10 ft by 40, in 
which is my cornsheler driven by a tub wheel to an upright shaft 
adding to the whole length of the two houses a Piazza in front 10 ft 
wide supported from the roof and /on/ the back a 14 ft open shed 
supported by posts; this I find very convenient and worth five 
times their cost. Before harvest I spent on the creek which my 
canal empties into four weeks of 12 hands and am now at work on 
it, with 20. 1 hope in about 3 weeks more to make it well navigable 
for flats and half way up to my canal for vessils of 40 tons. I expect 
to deepen my canal about a mile in the middle one foot, and to 
widen it at top on the road side two feet for four miles. Then I know 
nothing I can do to it for the better. In diging in the savana below 
the Bee Tree, (for you must know I began a six feet ditch from that 
place to the creek which my canal empties into.) I find a chaffy soil 
about 3 ft deep and then a good clay. I think in twenty years it 
[torn] good land. I raised thi[s] season 2300 bus wheat, the crop was 
[torn] by the caterpillars. My corn is pretty likely, not like to be as 
much injured by chince bug as last year. It has suffered much from 
drouth, and will be shortened. The disasters which are natural to 
the crops and their low price takes me hard to it, to pay my debts. I 
fear I shall not be through next year. You will observe in the 
Edenton paper my lands offered for sale.^ The reason given in the 
advertisment is the true reason. My health does not justify my 
confining myself here, with all I think if I could have gone away 
my health might have been restored whereas my disease is but 
paliated by the warmth of the season and I look forward /to/ 
another long winter of confinement if not death. M^^ P. & children 
are in good health, she joins me in best respects to your sisters and 
Please to assure yourself of the sincere Esteem of your friend 

E Pettigrew 

James C. Johnston Esqr. 

The Pettigrew Papers 49 

[Addressed] James C Johnston Esqr 
Edenton Post Office 

^The Edenton Gazette for this year is not extant. 

Ann Blount Pettigrew to Mary Williams Bryan UNC 

Lake Phelps November 15th, i824. 

My dear Sister, 

Your last letter I received with much pleasure; but was much 
supprised to learn from it you had not received but one from me 
since last winter, I certainly have written much oftener than that, 
my letters must have miscarried, although I confess I do not write 
half as often as my inclination would direct, I am not quite so 

I am happy to hear you have a fine daughter Mary Elizabeth, 
only one day older than my little Henry. I suppose you have 
learned I have added another link to my chain of troubles I might 
add, a house full of boys is enough to craze ones brain. I 
congratulate you on the good fortune of having a daughter so much 
more manageable than the other sex. Viz. Betsey Stanly^ 

I promised myself the pleasure of seeing you this fall, but M^ 
Pettigrew and James have the fever and ague, and Henry is so very 
young, that I have deemed it prudent to postpone my visit untill 
February when probably the weather will be comfortable. Mamas 
inquiry respecting William's notions respecting a certain lady 
cannot be satisfied by us, I believe he has a wish, but I believe the 
subject has never been mentioned. I believe whoever looks for great 
fortune there will be catched, I suspect the riches will go to the sons 
with the exception of the land given by the grandfather, which 
without great expenses will not be productive of anything, but 
enough of this subject of surmises, aded to that, I would not give a 
cent for /a/ wifes land. 2 

I have had a visit from Miss Eleanor Trotter,^ who I understand 
is the belle of Beaufort County, I think she is much improved quite 
intelligent, when she returned home she sent me a cosmetic for the 
skin, a transparent soap which I think has benefitted the moth on 
my face, I am in the full tide of successfull experiment at present. 
Though Mr P. is doubtful^ 

The Miss Beaslies who it seems cannot be driven from NC. have 
returned this fall to Edenton reinforced with the youngest sister,^ I 
think the marriage of Betsy B ought to deter them from marring 
incautiously, what a dreadful misfortune to be left unprotected and 

50 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

without friends and advisers in this miserable world; I congratu- 
lated you on the birth of a daughter, but I ought to have reflected on 
the many ills she probably might be exposed to, true as D^ 
Johnston says they are the most unfortunate part of creation. If 
they are, it must be because they have the command of all the other 
part of the creation. We know to rule is not always the happiest life, 
more particularly if we have not descretion, they generally carry 
too much sale though it is well known they are the weaker vessil. 

Give my love to Mama Penelope Frederick and all the the family. 
I suppose you are alone by this time. 

Mr Pettigrew joins me in love to you and believe me your 
affectionate sister. 

A B Pettigrew. 

Mrs Mary Bryan — 

[Addressed] Mrs Mary W. Bryan 

^These three words appear to have been added in Ebenezer's handwriting 
and may refer to Elizabeth Stanly Armistead. 

^Ebenezer apparently wrote the last part of this sentence, beginning with 

^Eleanor was probably the daughter of Thomas Trotter. Trotter mentioned 
his daughter Elena in a letter to Ebenezer in 1817. Lemmon, Pettigrew Papers, 
I, 559. She was married in 1826; see Ann Blount Pettigrew to Mary Williams 
Bryan, March 9, 1830, note, and Thomas Trotter to Ebenezer Pettigrew, May 17, 
1834, in this volume. 

'' Apparently this phrase also was added by Ebenezer, 

''Sally and Betsy, two daughters of Dr. John Beasley and Ann Slade Beasley 
of Edenton, deceased, are mentioned in Lemmon, Pettigrew Papers, I, 374; 
another daughter, Maria W., married Lt. Frederick Norcom at Edenton on May 
15, 1828. North Carolina Star (Raleigh), May 29, 1828. A fourth daughter, 
Harriet, had married William R. Norcom earlier in 1824. North Carolina Star 
(Raleigh), March 26, 1824. 

•^Ebenezer inserted and initialed the last two sentences of this paragraph. 

Ann Blount Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew unc 

Newbern December— 30th 1824. 

My dear Husband, 

According to promise I commence with writing you very often 
your advice to the contrary notwithstanding. I am extremely 
desireous to hear from my dear husband and children, I would 
rather be buried in solitude forever than be deprived of their 
society, absence has the effect to increase my regard, when 

The Pettigrew Papers 51 

sepperated from my friends only the fair side of their characters 
presents itself to me. I cannot reflect on their faults. Newbern is the 
gayest of the gay at present, almost every night their is a party 
Fred is a great beaux I do not partake of them, the married folks are 
excluded almost which suits me extremely well, last evening Ma 
and myself were at Mrs McKinleys, her house is like a palace she 
has the most splendid drawing room I ever beheld, quite new and 
the latest fashion, she told us the furniture of that room cost 1500 
dolls it almost surpasses description and to grace the room in a 
peculiar manner her portrait is on one side and Miss M. Jones's is 
on the other. Penelope's health is so delicate she cannot partake in 
the amusements of the evening. Ma had a dinner party the other 
day when I saw Mr Mason he inquired after your health. I think he 
has lost his spirits or at least his vivacity. 

William arrived a few days before Christmas, he seemed dis- 
appointed at not seeing you. he said he would willingly have 
escorted me to Newbern, he seems to be rather at a loss what to do 
with the Negroes they are all unwilling to be sold from Newbern, 
poor mortals! what a state of society is ours, every day I have a 
more horrible idea of it. 

John is expected on Saturday unaccompanied with his wife I 
understand he sold his farm for much more than its value and that 
he is or seems satisfied to remain where he is — 

The death of old M'' Smyth made a considerable change in the 
family. Mrs Armstead is quite a fashionable woman and looks 
handsomer than ever, it is supposed she is going to be married to R 
Orme — she is quite a fine looking woman. Newbern is full of 
extravagance and fine dressing, the poorest people make a show 

Mr Bryan has not returned from the assembly yet, a number of 
persons have gone to Raleigh with the expectation of seeing 
Lafayett, but will be disappointed — Mrs Iredell I understand has 
gone up with her brother Mr Bryan wrote for Mary to hire a 
carriage and go up, but she I suppose preferred staying because of 
my being here. 

La Fayette will be in Carolina in the spring.^ He is said to have 
been fatigued with travelling and requested permission to stay in 
Washington a short time during the session perhaps for the 
purpose of resting. 

After I had sealed your letter by Mr Woodly^ sent, I understood 
Stewart the taylor had not your measure, if you wish to send your 
measure, let me know what you wish to have done 

I am desireous to know whether Mr Morris has arrived or not, 
and how you proceed do write me. 

Penelope is a staunch Roman Catholic, she does not go to the 
episcopal Church, her feelings I perceive are very acute on the 

52 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

subject, she does not make a show of reHgion but does not Uke to be 
jested with on the subject of her faith. 

Give my love to your Mother — to Mrs Warrenton^ — kiss the 
children for me Ma joins me in love to you. remember me to to all 
the family and believe me my dear husband your 

ever affectionate wife 
Ann B. Pettigrew 

P.S. I still continue in the enjoyment of good health, Henry has the 
colic as usual, James has a bad cold but does not mind it much he is 
wild as ever, Grace's hand is not well yet but I cannot induce her to 
wear a rag on it without more trouble than her hand is worth. 

[Addressed] Mr. Ebenezer Pettigrew, 


^The Marquis de Lafayette visited North Carolina in March, 1825. Johnson, 
Ante-Bellum North Carolina, 140-141. 

^Perhaps this was Daniel Woodley of Tyrrell County, a carpenter and builder. 
See other letters in this volume. Woodlys (Woodleys) in the 1830 Census Index, 
207, include Baily, Eli, John, and Samuel in Washington County, and Alay and 
Hardy in Tyrrell County. 

•^Mrs. Warrenton (Warrington) was an elderly woman who apparently lived 
near the Pettigrews and served as a housekeeper and companion to Nancy. 
Lemmon, Pettigrew Papers, I, 637, 645; Ebenezer Pettigrew to James Cathcart 
Johnston, January 4, 1825, in this volume. 

Ebenezer Pettigrew to James Cathcart Johnston UNC 

Lake Phelps Jan. 4, 1825 

My Dear Sir, 

I hoped before this to have received a line from you, but as letter 
writing is distant conversation with ones friends I take up the pen 
without ce[re]mony to let you know how the world wags with me 
and be assured I should be no less glad to learn how it is with you, 
and let me tell you that though I stay so short a time with you and 
see you so seldom it is very contrary to my wishes; how pleasantly 
could I spend a fortn eight with you if my affairs would allow it; You 
must be certain how much more agreeable it must be to converse 
with a friend in whome you have the most perfect confidence and 
open your whole soul, than to be spending days and weeks with 
those who are waying every word to see if an unfavourable 
construction can be placed to it; when I am with the latter 
discription (which is alas too often) how often do I drop a sigh with 
deep sorrow, that I cannot be some where else. You will naturally 

The Pettigrew Papers 53 

suppose that something has occured lately; I think there is a small 
party behind the curtain, but I am confident I shall put them down 
without their ever coming out. Virtue & Truth has for ever borne 
the test of ages. 

We have had a very wet fall and by far the most disagreeable one 
to sown wheat that I recollect, I however sowed eighty acres, which 
was nearly what I intended, the ground was not in the order I 
wished but I have confidence in the land, I planted but a small crop 
of corn for want of cleared land, it produced tolerably and will /be/ 
sufficient for use; I /have/ pretty good head of water and am 
sawing I hope the mill will be of profit to me this winter. I sold last 
year between 6 & 700 dollars worth of plank, I intend to loos no time 
with it this winter & spring and am in hopes it will be worth 1000 
dollars. I am from a request of my mother about to take possetion of 
her plantation & negroes, and supply her wants; I know it will 
increase my troubles, but she is totally unable to conduct it; The 
plantation is mine at her death and she says most of the negroes. 
They are all spoiling, the plantion is going to wreck; and I think 
without any pecuniary expence more than those on it can produce I 
can make it a valuable place for one of my children. I dislike the 
increase of business but I must get an overseer for it, a thing she 
would no do. 

As to my health, my fingers are about what they were when I was 
with you, and I have very little affection else where, I am 
accordingly able and do take a great deal of exercise, but I have 
had for some time a pain at intevals and constant soreness in my 
left side which I thought was a pleuritic symtom, but the Doctor 
says not, that it is probaby a Scyrrus; I take the liberty to doubt, but 
I do not like the soreness which has come on in a fortnight and is 
inconvenient, though I treat it with contempt. I do not see death 
any where near at hand, but we must all die /and should it 
happen/ before, you, could I my dear friend venture to appoint you 
sole executor to my will with a hope that you would act. If I could it 
is unnecessary for me to tell you that one great distress would be 
removed at parting from the world; Property is nothing compaired 
to the manner in which children are brought up, and he must be a 
bad child indeed who will take none of the advise of his Guardian. 
Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will 
not depart from it. I wish no better woman than their Mother, but I 
have been satisfyed and she is no less so that Mothers cannot 
manage boys. 

After a stay of two years and three month in this solitary abode 
Mrs Pettigrew set out about the IS^h ult. for Newbern [torn] were 
such as to prevent me from going with her, and I got [torn] my 
engineer and a very worthy litle man to go with her, she took the 
two youngest children and left with me the two eldest, and an 

54 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

elderly lady M^s Warrington to keep house. I learn they got safe to 
Newbern and are all well. I expect to go for her the first warm spell 
in February. 

My pecuniary affairs need more than I have. I expect to receive 
in the course of the Spring what I may want, but it will not be in 
time; I would /consider it/ a great favour if you /would/ oblige me 
with the loan of between 3 & 500 dollars. I make this request under 
a belief of its being perfectly convenient, and if so will you be so 
good as to place it in the hands of Messrs. Th. & W. A Turner 
Plymouth,^ and advise me of it; I /would/ have sent expressly to 
your house but for the uncertainty of finding you at home. I hope 
you /will/ overlook the interlineations when I give as excuse for 
not writing over; stiff fingers, and not being in the habit I make as 
many the second as first. Please to give my respects to the Ladies 
and believe me your sincere Friend 

E Pettigrew 
[Addressed] James C. Johnston Esq^^ 
Edenton Post Office 

^Thomas and William A. Turner, brothers, were merchants in Plymouth, 
Washington County. They are listed in the 1820 Census Index, 16. Some of the 
persons listed as members of their households may have been apprentices or 
employees, as neither brother was ever married. 

Ann Blount Pettigrew to Ehenezer Pettigrew unc 

Newbern — January 10 — 1825 — 

My dear Husband, 

I received your two letters with very great pleasure your last 
dated the 4th of January I received a few minutes since I cannot 
express to you my dear husband the gratifycation I receive in 
reading your affectionette letters, I spent this morning in returning 
some of my calls, called on the Smyth family found them in 
distress at the loss of Mrs Bryan whose death they had lately heard 
of, I find Madam McKinley extremely polite, remarkably so; I am 
happy to inform you I have had the pleasure of seeing all my 
brothers, John staid nearly a week he is wild as ever, made fun for 
us all the time, but he breaks fast, & looks old, much older than 
myself, he gives a flattering description of his situation for health 
& beauty none exceeding his well is 45 feet deep oh! how delighted I 
should be to live in such a country he says you would have no 
rheumatism in that country, and it would seem so knowing that 
yours proceeded from debility occasioned by fall fever. 

The Pettigrew Papers 55 

Mr Bryan returned last week, looks very <beadly> badly; he did 
not enjoy his health in Raleigh. I would advise him to leave the low 
country, brother John was much pleased to see me he expressed 
great desire to see you. 

I am sorry to hear of William's indisposition, but am happy to 
learn he had nothing of the croup I feel greatly obliged to Mrs 
Warrenton for her extreme care and attention, I am very sorry to 
hear you have not the teacher I feel distressed at the idea of my 
dear children being so backward in their education and so far 
behind other children of the same age. 

Mama had a splinded tea party last thoursday evening where I 
saw a great assemblage of bells and fine dressing music on the 
Pianno by Miss Betsy Graham, ^ & Miss Susan Gaston^ one of the 
sweetest looking girls I ever saw though not handsom I was 
requested to play, but pled an excuse. Ma requested me to tell you 
she regretted not having the pleasure of your company. Mr 
Roberts^ said your presents would have heightened his pleasure 
vastly, but he stands as a good man but not sincere therefore I did 
not believe him altogether, the widow I mentioned in my last 
looked very languishing as one might expect, I received as much 
enjoyment as I could sepperated from my dear Husband and 
children, believe me when I tell you such amusements have very 
little pleasure for me though you may say I am not in the habit, as 
you have an excuse always for my good feelings, and perhaps that 
may be the case, I was the only lady in the room without curies 
except one or two old women, and got a severe reprimand from 
Mary for not wearing a wreath of flowers on my head which she 
sent me for the purpose, I wish to live not for the pleasures this 
world presents, but for my husband first and family &— James is 
quite well, and very mischievous. Henry looks tolerable but does 
not grow he is not near as large as Mary's child. Almost every 
person I see exclaims at my increased size. I have fattened very 
much since I came. Ma has so many nice nic, nacks, I attribute it to 

I wish your plan with your Mother may succeed well without 
increasing your trouble very much — I approve [torn] however — I 
fear your increased business will ca[u]se you [torn] yourself more 
than ever; John has 600 acres of land where he lives he intends 
raising cotton & having a store a mile from his dwelling, with a 
clerk, where he intends doing extensive business, he seems perfectly 
devoted to his wife he seems scarcely to think of any thing else. Ma 
joins me in love to you — remember me to Mrs. Warrenton and your 
Mother kiss the dear children for me. and believe me ever 

your affectionate wife 
Ann B Pettigrew 

56 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

Mr E Pettigrew. 

P.S. Excuse this scrawl I have no black lines — . 

[Addressed] Mr E Pettigrew, 


^Possibly Betsy Graham was the daughter of Edward Graham, a prominent 
New Bern attorney who served in the state House of Commons in 1797. Miller, 
"Recollections," 16; Cheney, North Carolina Government, 237. 

^Susan Jane Gaston was a daughter of William Gaston (1778-1844) of New 
Bern, a distinguished state legislator, congressman, and chief justice of the 
North Carolina Supreme Court. Miller, "Recollections," 15; Biographical 
Directory of Congress, 933-934; DAB, VI, 180-181. Susan Gaston married 
Robert Donaldson of New York in 1828. North Carolina Star (Raleigh), 
February 21, 1828. 

^This probably refers to John M. Roberts, who was cashier of the Bank of 
New Bern. Raleigh Register, January 29, 1819. 

Ann Blount Pettigrew to Ehenezer Pettigrew UNC 

Newbern Janury 18th 1825— 

My dear Husband, 

I received your letter dated January the 1 l^h this morning with 
very great gratify-cation, but was very sorry to learn you have been 
unwell. I hope you will speedily recover with a little care and 
attention. I fear your walks and attention to your business are too 
fatiegueing and require too much exposure at this season of the 
year — do My dear Husband be careful of your health for the sake of 
your family, I think Ma's two daughters can boast of having good 
husbands, therefore we should beg them to preserve their lives. I 
think M'' Bryan an excellent man he <seems> has such an uniform 
temper, but I fear he is in a bad state of health, he looks very badly 
he was very sick night before last, was taken with a cold sweat 
which alarmed Mary very much, but next day was tolerable well — 
I think his aunt and Mother will live to enjoy their fortunes, and to 
walk over his grave if they choose. Mama complains of the colic to 
day and looks very badly, myself and children are very well. 

D'' Jones has come to Newbern with his daughters to spend some 
time, he will soon be a smart widower, but has an odious character, 
from his immorality, I see him in the street he looks very genteel in 
deep black, which is indeed only a semblance of grief a perfect 
mockery of wo. he gave Mary a remedy for rheumatism written on 
a slip of paper he says he has made many cures I send it, you must 
understand if you can. — 

The Pettigrew Papers 57 

Newbern still continues very gay. I am invited to a splendid Ball 
to be given at M^ John Stanleys^ to-morrow and wish not to go, 
though I am teazed on all sides I think I shall not be prevailed on,, 
these parties if I go will cause <to> me to make more purchases 
than I intended, therefore must borrow some money to carry me 
through — my 40 Dolls, slipt out of my pocket book for things I 
really needed very soon, I could not immagine at the lake what use 
I had for money, but soon found my mistake, but I am very saving 
and frugal more so than any one I meet with who pretend to 
dress — . 

I was very sorry to hear of poor Shamrocks death poor fellow, 
Charles no doubt grieved much. 

I am sorry to hear you have purchased more land, you had better 
take care of your mon/e/y, you need not murder your days to make 
farms for your children, for they will not live on them and they will 
not thank you, I am sometimes almost tempted to perswade you to 
move to Edenton. but I know /not/ what is right, certain it is we 
cannot live forever and while we live let us live, [torn] enjoy some of 
the comforts of society, but as [I to]ld Mr [torn] last night, I am not 
willing to sacrifice all interest for society. I have written your 
Mother — please give her my love, also Mrs W. kiss the children and 
believe me whether at Newbern Lake or any other place your 
aff — wife 

A B Pettigrew 

Mama sends you her love — 

[Addressed] Mr E Pettigrew— 
Skinners- ville 


iJohn Stanly (1774-1833) of New Bern was a brilliant attorney and eloquent 
speaker for the Federalist party. In 1802 he killed former governor Richard 
Dobbs Spaight in a duel but received a pardon from Governor Benjamin 
WilHams. Stanly served in Congress, 1801-1803 and 1809-181 1, and in the state 
legislature, for fifteen terms between 1798 and 1827. In the latter year he 
suffered a stroke from which he never fully recovered. Upon Stanly's death, a 
two-column obituary was printed in the Newbern Spectator, August 9, 1833. 

Stanly had eight sons and one daughter. One son, Fabius, became an admiral 
in the United States Navy; another, Edward, a Whig, served in Congress, 
1837-1843 and 1849-1853, before moving to California. Miller, "Recollections," 
12-13; Crabtree, North Carolina Governors, 54; Henderson, North Carolina, I, 
485, 507, 509, 570, 611; Parish Register, Christ Church, New Bern, Burials, 84; 
Biographical Directory of Congress, 1644; Cheney, North Carolina Govern- 
ment, 238, 240, 263, 265, 266, 268, 272, 274, 275, 278, 283, 284, 286, 288, 290. 

58 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

Ann Blount Pettigrew to Ehenezer Pettigrew unc 

Newbern Janury 31st 1825. 

My dear Husband, 

Your affectionate letter I received last evening with very great 
pleasure and was much relieved to learn you were in tolerable 
health for the night before I had a distressing dream which ought 
not to have caused me any uneasiness knowing my dreams never 
have any signification. I was much shocked to learn the risk you 
run of being killed by the tree I beseech you in future to keep at a 
sufficient distance you know how many accidents have happened 
on the Lake of the kind. 

We are all tolerable well several days I was quite unwell with a 
sore throat and mouth which arose from fevers from some little 
cold I had taken. I had Henry Ehenezer Pettigrew cristned in 
Church last Sunday he behaved extremely well laughed nearly all 
the time. Marys baby was christned the same time. I have seen 
very little of Mr Mason since I have been here he seldom comes to 
see us — he has a fine daughter which they say delights him very 

Frederick has received a commission to attend & escort Lafayette 
to the city of Raleigh, but he is undetermined what to do he will 
/be/ obliged to get uniform hat & feather — and horse &c. — which 
expence is too great to incur to be thrown aside afterwards, I think 
the State aught to furnish such expenses — but Carolina like they 
do not. he is very anxious to go. 

Mr Bryan says he is affraid he will be from home when you 
come — he is anxious to see you. I wish my dear husband you would 
come some time before we set out for home. Your friends here would 
be very much pleased to see you get some man to attend to your 
bussiness, & give yourself a little time for recreation — I was 
amazed to see D^^ Old — in Newbern, I should not have been as much 
supprised to have seen LaFayette — he made a very short stay — 
offered to take a letter to you but I had just written by mail — . 
Newbern continues very gay, so much frolicking that Mr Mason 
gave a severe lecture from the Pulpit, which had not much effect — . 
I did not go to M^ Stanly ball — the weather was so bad. 

The other /day/ a large company of us went to see a show — 
tigers a lion monkeys /&c — / a sight I have never seen before — 
how delighted Charles and William would have been to have seen 
the monkey dance. Charles has not improved much in writing. I 
hope you sometimes give him a lesson. Mama is anxious for 
Charles to come to N. and go to school she says she will take any & 
every care of him — but I dislike the distance — sometimes I am 
almost determined to persuade you to accept of Mr Johnstons offer 
to go to E. to live for the purpose of educating our children I shall 

The Pettigrew Papers 59 

expect to see you very soon my dear Husband [torn] excedingly 
anxious you may be sure, I reckon Mrs W. is almost weary keeping 
house, give my love to her — & Mother, kiss the children. 

I thank you much for the 50 Dollars I find it very convenient 

believe me your ever affectionate wife 

Ann B Pettigrew — 

I wish you would get Mrs. W. to put up some seeds-aspargus seeds 
also if it will not be too much trouble to bring them, please to get her 
to look for my receits in the close closet in a ban box, for the receit 
for hooping cough and bring it — they have it N. we intend keeping 
the children very close — to prevent their taking it Marys oldest 
child is in bad health if it should take it — it will be bad. 

[Addressed] Mr E Pettigrew, 

NC. . 

[Dr.] Thomas Old to Ebenezer Pettigrew a&h 

March. 17th i825. 

Dear Sir. 

By a letter lately rec^ from my friend M^ Ivy I am requested by 
him to Solicit of you the refusal of the purchase of your Pine Timber 
if you will under any circumstances dispose of it. He appears to be 
under the impression that the only objection you have had to sell is 
the purpose to which the Timber was to be applied (the British 
service) and that since he has a contract for our Government he 
might without impropriety make you proposals, altho. from my 
Knowledge of your sentiments I am lead to believe you intend to 
retain it for your own use, in communicating the request of M^ Ivy I 
am performing a duty incumbent on me. You will therefore pardon 
me for touching on this subject. 

A few days ago I rec^ a present of some very fine pickled oysters 
from a friend in Va Being very solicitous that M^^ Pettigrew shall 
receive a share of them I shall make an effort to Keep them as long 
as possible. Be so good as to send immediately on your return for 
them — a jar that will hold two gallons. 

Thos. Old 
[Addressed] M^ Ebenezer Pettigrew 
Lake Phelps 

60 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

Ebenezer Pettigrew to James Cathcart Johnston unc 

Lake Phelps. April 26, 1825 

My dear Sir, 

Your esteemed favour of Jan 30<^h i did not have the pleasure to 
receive untill my return from Newbern, which was not untill the 
latter part of March. My long stay at that place was occasioned by 
the extreme high tides. To be shut up six or eight weeks in a town 
where I know but few and perhaps associate with none will be 
better immagined by you, than I can discribe; I however got out 
alive, though in a very crippled state; from which I have just 
recovered. My complaint was a violent cold & cough which seemed 
to threaten a consumption; I began to think that just at the time I 
had thought myself free from danger I was about to take it. 

I regret that my request to you, has given you the mortifycation 
to decline a favour to a friend, one I am satisfied you would comply 
with if in your power, but let me assure you my dear friend that I 
accept your reasons as fully sufficient, they confirm me in my 
opinion of your frien/d/ly disposition towards my children if in 
distress and at all times. In respect to the severity & caprieces of 
your temper, give me leave to disagree with you, and to say that I 
am astonished that you should have any such idea of yourself. 
Please to accept my sincere thanks for the money which you were 
so good as to direct in the hands of Messrs Turners. It has been 
received and I have found it very convenint, in settling all the calls 
which seem naturally to come out of business. At foot is a note for 
the amount which you will be so good as to accept untill I have 
something of more worth to give you. I am striving to do something 
in the gaining way and as usual am in hopes of geting out of all 
pecuniary difficulties in a year or two, but that has been so old a 
story that I scarcely believe it myself. My wheat is promising and I 
hope to rais nearly 2000 bushels. The Lake is at this time very full 
which gives me a full head for the saw, and I am taking the 
advantage of it by sawing day and night. I /have/ sold & sent 
away a considerable quantity, but sawing so constantly fills up the 
space and I have a good deal on hand. Should you see any one who 
wants I would be glad if you would recommend me to them. I expect 
to saw by the fall not less than 200 thousand ft. which if I can sell 
will put me compleatly above board. The Lake at this time looks 
delightfully. How glad I should be to see you here! M^s Pettigrew & 
the children are at present well, she joins me in best respects to 
your Sisters and please to accept for yourself the sincere regard & 
Esteem of your sincere friend 

E Pettigrew 

James C. Johnston Esqr 

The Pettigrew Papers 61 

N.B. I should have writen you sooner, but I have been since my 
return so overwhelmed with business that I could not compose my 
mind sufficiently and I now write you after all have gone to bed, no 
noise but the saw 

[Addressed] James C. Johnston Esqr 
Edenton P. office 

David Wither spoori^ to Ehenezer Pettigrew a&h 

June 9th 1825 

Dear Sir 

I wrote to you by M^^ Joshua witherspoon he neglected or forgot to 
take the Letter with him to you — from the Recolection I have of you 
and the Intimate acquaintance I had with your worthey father 
indusus me to write to you — as it may be Sum Sattisfaction to you 
to Convers with you on paper — a number of years past I perchist a 
valuable tract of land on the oconey River in the fruntiars of 
Georgia I Give five Dollars per acre I held the mans bond for five 
thousand Dollars he was a man of large property but faild in 
makeing ti[t]les to the land the man is Dead. I have brought Suit in 
Federal Court, /against his Executors/ 1 Expect to Get my money 
next fall— I have had to encounter Sc[or]es of Difficuteys in my old 
age. Can Say I have lost Sum thousands of Dollars by trusting bad 
men — I purpus Sittleing in Georgia — the Last purches that was 
maid of the Creek Indians is the most valuable of aney purches 
that has been made in that State of late D^ Sir I wrote to you Sum 
years past Respecting your Fathers Sermons and pamplets— he 
had wrote in his Life time he mensiond them to me the last time I 
had the pleasure of seing him — he told me he would leave them and 
I might make such use of them as I might think proper in haveing 
them printed — as it was his Request it is thought thay ought not to 
lay Dorment— 

now Sir as there has been a long delay in haveing them prined. If 
you will do me the favour of Sending them on to me by the Maile to 
Morganton Burk County I will Receve them Do^t Askew a clergeman 
of high Standing was Intimately acquanted with your Father 
when he was young Says he will Give his aide in prepareing his 
Righting for the press /if thay want aney/ prehaps there is few 
Gentlemen more Capable he thinks thay /can/ be sirculated to 
advantage in the fruntir States now Sir it may be Sum what 
Gratefeing to you to heare of sum of your /old/ Relatesions two of 
your Fathers Sisters^ are alive and Injoys tolerable helth for those 

62 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

of there age thay have Rasd Respetable Famileys Sum of the men 
are leading Carrectors. also my oldest Sister /Ha[r]bin/ Lives on 
togolo River She has been a widdow about 16 years She has three 
Sons men of Buisness her oldest son is Clart [clerk] of the Court 
also a CoUo of the County — <hir> through hir Good aeconemy 
Sinse hir husbands Death /She/ has Doubled the Estate — mostly 
from the Culture of Cotton. Cultivates about 250 acres of land the 
Greater part of the first quality — workes about 25 hands — Sister 
McGemsey also a widow /is Rich/ whare I now write from^ has two 
sons prehaps as Respectable young men as aney Rais^ in this 
Sexson of the State, one is a Docter now liveing on Duck River in 
Columba[s?]. Gets a Extensive practice — there father when he 
Died was Co^o of Burk County — 

The oldest Son W"^ MGemsey has a Desire to sell his farme thay 
now live on — I will Describe it to you perhaps sum of your — 
acquaintane may incline to purchis that lives in that onhealthy 
part of the Country, it lyes 12 miles /west/ from Morganton on 
Linvill River on the mane publick Road to tennessee Contains one 
thousand acres /of land/ there is upwards of one hundred acres of 
Cleard Land the greater part River bottom of the best quality a 
quantaty of god [good] upland <to> to Cleare. it is one of the 
handsumest <in> Seats in this part of the Country — there is an 
Exelent Mill Seat on it. it is one of the best publick stands in burk 
County — it Can be bought for [5]000 Dollars part on a Credit the 
Greater part might be paid in young negrows — Cant you send sum 
of your welthy farmers to purchis (there Reason for <Sell> offering 
this land for sa[le] thay want to go Yon Duck River — 

there is no part of the world more helty than it is heare from this 
farme there is one of the most beautifull views of the Mountans I 
Ever beheld — if the Cataby River is wonst made Navigable /for it/ 
botes will Come with in Eight miles of this farme — it will be 
Compleated in time — My worthy friend M^ McGemsey is desirous I 
should make this Comunication to you /<about his land>/ as he is 
onacquaintd with you — prehaps from your numerous acquaintance 
you might Se Sum person would Incline to purchis — as to my self I 
Enjoy a tolarable Shear of helh in my old age tho at times I am 
much afflicted with the Rhumatack paines — My sons that are 
Grown are Men of buisness thay have good lerning — tho two of 
them have turnd out to be Medithist preachers my oldest son'' is 
liveing in Georgia maryed in that Country in a Respetable 
family — one of my Nephuse in Georgia lives about 20 from the 
Indian Line he wants to purchis a drove of Indian horses to sell in 
the Low Country. I think thay will Suit your Climet. thay will 
/last/ almost as long as Mules sum of them are the niseist harness 
I Ever Road, thay say thay will keep fat on Ruf food I think I must 

The Pettigrew Papers 63 

Join <in> him in a Drove /next fall/ thay will sell the price will be 
modrate D^^ Sir I am Respectfully yours &c 

D. Witherspoon 

E Pettigrew Esqr 

Please to give my Respects to M^s Pettigrew your Lady. 

Pos your father wrote a pamphlet on the Death of two Infents an 
exellent peac I Epect the one on Baptism Equelly so also his advice 
to his advic to his sons my Relations think as great a peace as thay 
Ever heard Read — thare is no Dout but thay are worthy of being 
printed as well as for the publick good So that I shall be much 
gratifide if you Can mak it Convenant to Send his papers on by the 

[Addressed] E. Pettigrew Esqr. 
Terrel County 
Lake Phelps 
N. Carolina 

^ David Witherspoon was a son of Martha Pettigrew, sister to the Reverend 
Charles Pettigrew, and her husband, John Witherspoon. He lived at Wilkes- 
boro, North CaroUna, in 1817, according to a letter he wrote to Ebenezer. 
Lemmon, Pettigrew Papers, I, xiv, 579. David Witherspoon represented Wilkes 
County in the legislatures of 1795 and 1796. Cheney, North Carolina Govern- 
ment, 233, 235. 

^Other sisters of Charles Pettigrew were Rachel, Mary, Jane, and Elizabeth. 
Lemmon, Pettigrew Papers, I, xiv. 

^Possibly the writer refers to Flora Witherspoon, who married John McGimsey 
of Burke County. The Heritage of Burke County (Morganton: Burke County 
Historical Society, 1981), 301. This letter is postmarked Morganton. 

^Presumably this was George Witherspoon. Lemmon, Pettigrew Papers, I, 

[Dr.] Thomas Old to Ebenezer Pettigrew unc 

Norfok Va Aug. 5th i825 

Dear Sir, 

Frequently and anxiously have I thought since leaving /you/ of 
the destitute situation of yourself and many other of my friends, in 
a medical point of view have been placed by my removal from 
Tyrrell and had not causes of an insuperable nature occurred to 
drive me from the country I sh^ have sacraficed other considera- 
tions & have remained. The young gentleman of whom I spoke to 
you has come to Norfolk to see me & brought a very marked 

64 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

recommendation from my friend D^ C. of this state, independently 
of which his oppertunities have been so favorable that he must I 
think be well qualified to perform the duties of his profession. His 
name is D^ W"^ C. Warren.^ His object is to settle permanently in 
Tyrrell if he commences business at all as far as I can learn from 
him which is an additional recommendation in his favor If he does 
<no> so I shall think I have conferred a real favor on you by 
quitting for it was impossible for me to become satisfied & I cou^ 
not be brot. to view myself as finally settled. You will consider this 
an Introductory Letter for D^^ Warren. He will visit very soon after 
he reaches Tyrrell. The Doctor as I am informed by him has been 
engaged in practice anterior to this time and is a graduate of the 
Pennsyl. University. 

Since leaving you my health has improved altho I am but just 
recovered from an attack of Intermittent Fever, by which cause and 
the necessary attention to some business I have been detained 
longer than I anticipated in Va I shall however start on monday 
morning for Washington City whence after stopping a couple of 
days to admire the Public Buildings & view the magnificoes of the 
nation I shall proceed to Baltimore, Phil^ & N. York. From one of 
these places I will write you again & more lengthily. Present the 
assurances of my highest esteem to M^^s Pettigrew My compl^^ts to 
Mr Kennedy^ 

Believe very sincerly yr. friend 

Thos. Old 

Mr Ebenezer Pettigrew 

[Addressed] Mr Ebenezer Pettigrew 
Lake Phelps, 


^Undoubtedly this was Dr. William Christian Warren. North Carolina Star 
(Raleigh), December 8, 1826; Ann Blount Pettigrew to Mary Williams Bryan, 
February 12, 1827, in this volume. 

^W. W. Kennedy was a tutor of the Pettigrew children. See the following 
document, dated September 22, 1825. 

Receipt from Pettigrew Children's Tutor UNC 

[September 22, 1825] 

Received from Mr Ebenezer Pettigrew Thirty Nine Dollars in full 
for three months and one week tuition of children — 

W W Kennedy 
Septr 22nd 1825— 

The Pettigrew Papers 65 

Ebenezer Pettigrew to John Herritage Bryan unc 

Lake Phelps Oct 16, 1825 

Dear Sir, 

I received your esteemed favour of 7 ult. about a fortnight after 
its date, and regret to learn that you did not receive that benefit to 
your health from your northern tour which was anticipated; I hope 
to learn from your next though in Carolina that your health has 
improved. We have all been in good health this fall except William 
who about two months ago had a sevier attack of bilious fever, but 
has perfectly recovered; I do not know that Nancy, Charles or the 
little one /has/ had a fever in six months, James was unwell in the 
summer, but by a fortunate ^aess of his disease he now looks like a 
mountain boy. 

I congratulate you on the manner which you were elected to 
Congress, I however with you /regret/ the necessity of you serving, 
but you must make the best of it. I hope that all is for the best; it was 
a case in my opinion which should have excited the fears of the 
people. For the first time in my life I took an active part in the 
election. I even became a stump orator, and to my great satisfac- 
tion we succeeded not only in district but in my county where it was 
<was> thought our anticaucus candidate would get scarcely any 
votes, being opposed by all the most active and leading characters 
of the county but /we/ cryed aloud and spaired not, and got a 
majority of 12 votes I will attend to your request for David B. 
Ogden Esqi^ if to be had of the proper quality which is too often not 
the case. 

I was Eden ton last week, where I saw M^ W. Shepard he informed 
me something about your passing on that way to Congress; and we 
concluded the better way would be for you to come to my house 
from thence I will see you safe by water either in person or other- 
wise to y\y Shepard who says he will then send you to Norfolk. 
Nancy says she will be very happy if you will think proper to take 
this rout and bring with you as far as [^]his hous sister Mary who 
can certainly get some of her numerous Brothers to /come &/ 
return with her as a life guard. I hope I am well enough known to 
render it unecessary to say any thing as to my desires on the 
subject as I never propose to do any thing with[oM^] being in good 
e/a/rnest. Please to inform me on the above subject that I may be 
in place at the time. 

When in Newbern Genl. [Durand] Hatch gave me some adver- 
tisment of a /runaway/ negroe which he suspected might be in 
Aligator. Will you be so good as to inform him that on my return 
home I did with the advertisments as requested and that when in 
that part of the county at the election I made strict enquir[y] about 
the fellow and from all that I could learn believ[e] he was not, nor 
do I believe has been in the county since runaway. 

66 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

Please to excuse this bad writing, give our love sister Mary and 
assure yourself of the Esteem of your friend 

E Pettigrew 

N.B. I have be so discouraged in my bad writing & diction by some 
of my learned friends that I am wont to give out writing to great 

[Addressed] John H Bryan Esqr __ 

New Bern 


Charles Lockhart Pettigrew to Mary Lockhart Pettigrew unc 

Lake Phelps November 12 1825 

My Dear Grandma 

I am glad I am able once more to write you a few lins I am sorry to 
inform you we have a very sickly family. Adam has died very 
sudden a very strange death. Penny also has<t> lost her child 
which was very puny from the first the white family are pretty well 

I am you affetionate grandson 
Charles L pettigrew 

Ma says please send her some aggs ma sends her love to you 

[Addressed] M^s Mary pettigrew. 
Washington county 

J. B. 'Flaherty^ to Ebenezer Pettigrew a&h 

[March 2, 1826] 

Dear Sir, 

I have been this day honored with your letter of the 26*^ 
ultimo. From my present circumstances, I have decided on accept- 
ing one hundred & fifty Dollars per annum for my services as 
Tutor to your children. Should not the situation be awarded to 
one who might be engaged by your friend Doctor Warren. The 
salary is small, but you may hereafter find it your interest to 
increase it. 

The Season is now so far advanced, that a decision, in my 
opinion, ought to be made soon as you may feel yourself justified 
to do so. 

The Pettigrew Papers 67 

I send this by post & expect an answer soon as you can conve- 
niently give it. 

I am Sir 
yours respectfully 
J. B. O'Flaherty 
Washington. N.C 
2nd March. 1826. 

[Addressed] E. Pettigrew Esqr 
Lake Phelps 
Washington County 


^Although O'Flaherty has not been further identified, this letter is included 
because it illustrates methods of education among rural families. Other tutors 
to the Pettigrew children mentioned in this volume are W. W. Kennedy, William 
J. Welles, and D. Stone. 

Ebenezer Pettigrew to John Herritage Bryan unc 

Lake Phelps, Ap. 18, 1826 

Dear Sir, 

I regret to learn from Sister Mary that your health is no better 
than when you left Newbern, and that you believe you have a 
confirmed affection of the liver. I hope by the applycation to 
some of your eminent Physicians you may be restored; whether 
in the present stage of the disease simples will be useful is doubt- 
ful, they may be but paliatives. Calomel in some shape seems to 
be almost the only remedy. Charcoal in slight bilious affections, 
or in other words, in a bilious obstruction, of not serious nature, 
is an excellent remedy. But the way in which you took it, it was 
as bad as eating so much earth, it should have been heated 
/immediately/ before taken to expel all that it absorbed. It is I 
immagine as great an absorbant as magnesia. If I were to ven- 
ture advice among the thousand who I expect are advising, I 
should say apply to one of the most Eminant Physicians for a 
cure & remove with/out/ delay to a healthy part of the country 
where bilious diseases are least frequent. Also pay strict atten- 
tion to regimen. It is unnecessary to be persecuted with medi- 
cines to a cure, and indulge in eating or live in a climate which 
affects three fourths of the population with the disease which 
you are trying to eradicate, for it will return be you never so per- 
fectly restored, if there is any hereditary predisposition. 

68 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

I was quite mortifyed to learn that you had it in contemplation 
to take another rout home. I have advised Sister Mary to con- 
tinue with promise to write you. The difficulty of geting here is I 
think not so great. You will know w/h/ere you are untill you get 
to Williams, There are from thence two routs, the one by Eden- 
ton & McKeys ferry, the other by Aligator. The latter I think 
would <be> be the best. You will get a boat or barge at Elizabeth 
and cross the Sound to Fortlanding on Aligator river, from 
thence you will get a chair & horse to my house which is 35 
miles. Capt. Basnight lives at the landing. M^ Ma[jr]. Edmond 
Alexander & Sam. Spruill live within /two miles of fortlanding/ 
& Henry Alexander the Sheriff of the county lives with five 
miles. They all have chairs and I have no doubt you can be 
accommodated. I am on the best terms with them and will next 
week at court speak to them on the subject. For the other rout I 
refer you to our brother William who is all contrivance. He is by 
promise to visit me on business in the next month, perhaps it 
would be convenient for him to visit us with you it might be well 
for you to write him on the subject. You have no doubt heard of 
my dear wife being deliver of a daughter [torn] five weeks ago. 
She is not in as good health as u[sual] after such events, but I 
hope will be better in a few we[eks]. I am as common, poor in 
spirit, but of a sound desposing mind. Please to excuse this 
abominable scratch. I have not patience to write any better. And 
assure yourself of the 

Esteem your friend 
E Pettigrew 

Hon. J. H. Bryan 

N.B. After writing this beautiful nice letter I read it to the Ladies 
& Mrs p, directs to give you her most unfeigned respect & M^s B 
says you have be been gone five months this day & she is most 
dead to see you 


[Addressed] Hon. John H. Bryan H.R. 
Washington City 

Ann Blount Pettigrew to Mary Williams Bryan a&h, bryan 

Lake Phelps, July 11th i826. 

My dear Mary, 

I received your letter sent by Mr R (from the ferry I believe) before 
your first written by the Mail, the removal of the office having 

The Pettigrew Papers 69 

made some little confu<si>sion, I was very sorry to learn you had 
such a disagreeable journey home, I hoped from the pleasantness 
of the weather you would have had quite an agreeable time, I am 
sorry Mr Bryan was so unwell, it was a pity you left here that 
morning — I hope the Beaufort air will benefit him, I hope poor little 
Mary will get better before long, kiss the children for me. 

Miss Caroline is determined to be a fine lady. New York exactly 
suites her desires, it is to be hoped the old lady will not die, she had 
/better/ sell off and clear out too. 

Mr Pettigrew begs I will tell you, I wrote Fanny Lardner word 
how many beautiful children you had, Mary continues very quiet 
and I think improves in beauty. Henry is loosing his fat, he is the 
fattest child almost I ever saw, William has the fever and ague, 
slightly one dose of medicine probably will restore hime. 

The weather still continues very dry and the garden suffers. Mr 
Pettigrew is threshing his wheat which is a very poor crop. I 
suppose Ma, has given you my message respecting the trip to the 
Springs, my immaginary trip like yours was very short lived, a 
Castle in Air indeed, I should have given you a circumstantial 
account you may be sure, what did Ma, think of the plan? 

I have had a visit from Mrs Walker, who is a very agreeable 
woman, they have promised to send their Son and Daughter to see 
us, she gives Mrs Hines the most exalted character. I understand 
Mr Bane talks of taking /his/ wife on the circuit he says he cannot 
bear the separation, he had forgotton her countenance in an 
absence of 6 weeks, Mr Bryan must have had a very feint 
rememberance of yours in six monthes. 

Mr Stone [the tutor] gets along as usual — James likes school 
much better, M^s Walker sent him some Pidgeons and M^^ W, is 
erecting a house for them near the barn greatly to his pleasure this 
is a piece of news worth relating to Theodore. 

Aunt P s relation Mrs West has come to visit her, she is well 

and says she regrets not having seen your little Mary before she 
left us, she says you have a great turn for nursing children, thinks I 
to myself, it is well she is. Give my love to Ma Penelope and 
family— also remember me to Miss Betsy, write soon a long lettler. 

Mr Pettigrew joins me in love to yourself and M^^s [sic] B, and 
believe me your affectionate Sister. 

Ann B. Pettigrew. 

We received a letter from William the other day he is in fine spirits, 
and about preparing a speech for the 4 of July— Preacher Wiley^ is 
very much admired in Edenton. I learn from a gentleman in Wil- 
liams distrit that he is a ca[ndid]ate for CONGRESS by the 
particular solicitations [of] his most faithfull, kind, loving, & ever 
to be depended on FRIENDS. Awake! 

70 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

[Addressed] Mrs Mary Bryan, 


^The Reverend Philip Bruce Wiley was an Episcopal deacon and rector of 
Christ's Church, Elizabeth City. Journal of the Proceedings of the Eleventh 
Annual Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church, In the State of North- 
Carolina . . . 1827 (New Bern: Watson and Machen, 1827), 3, hereinafter cited as 
Journal of the Diocesan Convention, 1827; Journal of the Proceedings of the 
Seventeenth Annual Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the 
State of North Carolina . . . 1833 (Fayetteville: Edward J. Hale, 1833), 3, 
hereinafter cited as Journal of the Diocesan Convention, 1833. 

Ann Blount Pettigrew to Mary Williams Bryan UNC 

Lake Phelps September 11th i826. 

My dear Mary, 

Both of your affectionate letters I received after they had been 
miss sent, at which I was supprised as they were so correctly 
directed, certainly post masters are very negligent or careless, I 
was much disappointed several mails at not getting letters, I am 
fully convinced of the manny provoking occurrences that prevent 
letter writing with the manager of a family, particularly when 
there are many children, it is almost impossible sometimes to 
compose our minds sufficiently — Williams illness was of short 
duration, but last week he had an attack of bilious fever, but 
through Divine Providence and medical aid he is much better, he is 
very often sick at this season. M^^ Pettigrew is not well, the children 
are tolerable — I was sorry to hear of Marys fall and fear the scar 
will continue, nurses are careless, I am pleased to hear of Francis 
Theodores improvement wonderful indeed! what posessed you to 
alter his name, you need not be so choice as to names, you will have 
enough to procure, it really produced a smile some of Mr Bryans 
taste I suppose, our object seems merely to distinguish one child 
from another. James has no middle name — you must look quit 
beautiful since you have rid yourselves of the tan. my poor children 
still continue quite bespeckeled and will remain so for life no doubt, 
instead of Mr Bryans electioneering again, I suspected he would be 
at home trying hard to cure the dispepsia, he has had a taste and no 
doubt is a member for life, if Mr Speight^ does not dose the people 
too much — They say brother William wishes to distinguish himself 
in the annals of his country — he has been to see us and is fatter 
than I ever saw him. I assure you he is quite a plantation man. 
certainly the Shepards must have inherited that predilection for 
the cultivation of the soil from the maternal side, though I suppose 

The Pettigrew Papers 71 

Mama would clear herself of that, W. says M^ Wiley is courting 
Miss Gregory^ — he also fainted in the Pulpit not long since, from 
excessive heat — he is much thought of in these parts. Miss H 
Pritchard^ said the Edenton people were delighted with him, 
William came over in a boat to M^ Hatheways."^ on his return we 

went down to M^ H s, in the carriage with him and about dark 

he set off home — Die [William C] Warren is <not> not married, but 
I suspect will be before long — when she arrives I will give you an 
account of her, no doubt she is all perfection as no other would suit 
one of his taste — I perfectly agree with you that there is more 
pleasure in immagination than reality — but certainly a change of 
scene is very recreating — true as Zimmerman says a change from 
solitude to society enables us to enjoy both. 

Our teacher still continues with us and has the Dispepsia, also 
M^ Woodly has it and is under the direction of the D^^ — write me 
soon — I am sorry to hear James is sick but I hope he is better, 
William said, he had no idea Pennys arm was in such a state — he 
seems to be convinced it is a scrofulus habit and says she must go 
to the salts — Please give my love to Mama and family — also my 
respects to Miss Betsy [Graham] — Mrs Warren ton is making a 
long visit to Aligater of two or three months, but will return in time 
for me to visit Newbern. 

Mr Pettigrew joins me in affectionate remember ances to Mr 
Bryan and yourself— 

Your affectionate sister 
Ann B Pettigrew 

Mrs Mary Bryan. 

[Addressed] Mrs Mary W. Bryan, 


^ Jesse Speight (1795-1847) of Greene County was a member of the state 
Senate at this time. He served in the United States House of Representatives 
from North CaroHna, 1829-1837. He moved to Mississippi and sat in the state 
Senate there from 1841 to 1844, then in the United States Senate from 1845 until 
his death. Biographical Directory of Congress, 1636. 

^The Reverend Phihp B. Wiley married Claudia C. M. Hamilton Gregory on 
October 26, 1826. North Carolina Star (Raleigh), November 10, 1826. 

^Possibly this is the Miss Hannah Prichard referred to in an 1813 letter in 
Lemmon, Pettigrew Papers, I, 456. 

^Several Hathaways lived in the vicinity of Bonarva. Lemmon, Pettigrew 
Papers, 1, 512n. Burton Hathaway of Tyrrell County and William Hathaway of 
Washington County are listed in the 1830 Census Index, 81. 

72 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

Ann Blount Pettigrew to Mary Williams Bryan a&h, bryan 

Lake Phelps. Oct, 20th 1826. 

My dear Sister, 

I received your last with much pleasure, I had been disappoined 
several mails at not getting a letter, I am supprised at my letters 
not reaching you, I believe the Post is managed badly, I was really 
greived to hear of Sally Vails^ death, it must be a sore affliction to 
her Mother who I believe has been peculiarly unfortunate in her 
children, what a sorrowful world this would be without the 
prospect of a future, it would indeed be a dreary pilgrimage — an 
incessant toiling for nothing, it is necessary for our happiness and 

Mr Pettigrew has been very sick but I am happy to say has 
recovered D^ Warren was sick here with bilious fever at the same 
time, we sent to Plymouth for D^ Norcom, D^ Warren stayed with us 
4 weeks and then after his recovery, returned to Scuppernong to 
resume his business — you will think I had my hands full of 
nursing, myself and the children enjoy very good health, Miss 
Mary has learned to exercise her voice, she is not so quite as she 
was, I promise myself the pleasure to see you all the last of this 
month or the first of next when I shall stay untill sometime about 

Mr Woodly is just compleating a well of fine water-it is 
conducted in pipes from the Lake, after being filtered there by a 
machiene he has constructted, we think the water will be equal to 
any below the mountains. 

Give my love to Ma & family — remember me to Miss Betsy, Mr 
Pettigrew joins in respects to Mr B. and yourself — 

Your aff sister. 
Ann Pettigrew. 
[Addressed] Mrs Mary Bryan, 


^ Sarah (Sally) Vail died August 4, 1826, according to the Parish Register, 
Christ Church, New Bern, Burials, 80. The North Carolina Star (Raleigh), 
October 6, 1826, states that she died on September 17, at the age of fourteen. 

Ehenezer Pettigrew to Ann Blount Pettigrew UNC 

Lake Phelps Nov 28, 1826 

My dear wife. 

It is with great pleasure I contemplate the approach of the day 
for the mail, not because I expect yet a letter from you, but that I 

The Pettigrew Papers 73 

may write you being very sensible of your anxiety to hear from 
home. The evening I left you I got to Swift creek, the next day I got 
to Mrs Jacksons and the succeeding morning /cold as death/ was 
under way long before sunrise and arrived at mothers a little after 
dusk; there I learned the children were all well but M^^s Warrington 
had been sick, and was then better; fealing desirous to see the 
children & get home, I set out from mothers a little after sunrise 
and got to the Lake to breakfast. Where I found all well, and things 
had gone on as well as might be expected. The children are 
perfectly free from disease, & M^s Warrington is well, what her 
disease is I did not learn but suppose it was some disease common 
to women. I have taken my bed in the room overhead, Charles 
sleeps in the cot & William I have taken as my bed fellow, Poor 
fellow you know he has a failing & M^s W. said he would be 
troublesome, but he is cautious in drinking & by being waked up in 
the night he has not yet incommoded me. I put my hand in Charles' 
pocket the other day and among other things took out a box on 
opening it I found it contained snuf, and on enquiry he told me he 
had it to clean his teath, I without the show of temper threw the 
establishent in the fire On Saturday I had a slight chil but did not 
goe to bed, on Sunday I was not so well but in the afternoon was 
better, on monday I had some pains in my limbs, but today I feal 
tolerable, with my little indisposition I have a good appetite, and 
hope soon to be well I give you this information because I think it 
rong to keep secrets from my better half. My mouth had got quite 
bad, but for these three days I have drank Boneset tea, and it is 
almost well. Henry is outrageously bad, he is so heavy that I can 
heardly lift him, he will not come near me. I got a letter from 
Brother William since my return; he says the report about that girl 
was false, that [Rogerson] sold her to a man in Alabama. How this 
world is given to lying? he also says he had got the fifty dollars 
from Lindsey, which make 350 dollars he has received on my note 
to him of 383 dollars. I have not yet heard from M^" Johnston nor 
have received a line since my return from my New York freind. 
Fearing you may want or be cramped for money I have inclosed 
you a twenty dollar note. My dear wife I never quit you with /so 
much/ composure, bec/a/use I had so great a tie at home, our dear 
children, but now I am at home & see them wel[l] [torn] absence 
makes a great void /in my/ mind; and but from [torn] expectation 
of soon seeing you I know not how I should get through this world; I 
can assure you with perfect truth I view your minature with great 
delight, because it represents that which has been always since I 
saw it, dearest to my soul. I shall write you by every mail, & hope 
you will do the same, if it is but to say how you are. M^^ W. desires to 
be remembered, also Remember me to your Ma. Sister & B. and 
assure yourself of the sincere Love of /your/ Husband 

E P[ettigrew] 

74 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

N.B. Kiss poor little Mary for me. Brother Carle came to the Lake 
on Saturday last but did not call to see us [torn] You would have 
been delighted last evening to see little Jim carrying wood to the 
study. I have begun this morning to take a bottle of D^^ Swaim 

[Addressed] M^s Ann B. Pettigrew 
Newbern North 

Ehenezer Pettigrew to Ann Blount Pettigrew UNC 

Lake Phelps Dec 5, 1826 

My dearest Love 

It is with double pleasure I contemplate the mail day, as /it/ will 
not /only/ permit me to converse with you but I hope to receive by 
the return <of> of the boy a similar conversation than which 
nothing can give me more pleasure while you are this far removed 
from my voice. 

Since my former letter we have not been so well, I had on the last 
of the week something like a chill and fevers several evenings; I 
however feal better to day than since I left you I have taken a bottle 
of Swai[m]s Panacea which I hope has made a cure of my mouth, 
the Boneset failed. I can find no more of the Panacea and can 
account for but 3 bottles and there should be 3 more. I took one 
some time ago, gave one to S. Davinport and have now taken one. 
Mrs Warrington has been pretty much in my situation as to chills & 
fevers but is now better. Poor little Henry has had a bad caugh (but 
nothing like croup) he last evening had a pain in his ear, he seems 
quite well today and without caugh. But Poor little James took a 
fever yesterday after dinner and went to bed, his fever is not so 
high this morning, he complains a little of pain /in/ the ear, he is 
still in bed and rests very quiet I am afraid his indisposition arises 
from some cold he took by runing out on Sunday for it was a very 
sharp air. M^s Warrington is very attentive to them & I know you 
have every confidence in me on that subject, then I hope you will 
give yourself no unnecessary uneasiness concerning them, and if 
anything should occur serious you should be informed express. It is 
time for Doctor Warren to return according to his own appoint- 
ment. I have not been off the Lake since I came home, neither have 
I heard one word from below Mothers. Except M^s Miles Spruill, & 
Wo[o]dson no one has been here since my return. M^ Collins was 
with last week and went away fryday evening to mothers; I went to 
see him the second morning after his arrival. I found him very 
clever & conversant. He inveighs stoutly against the present 

The Pettigrew Papers 75 

fashionable life, he says nothing can stand a party every night and 
then sleeping untill ten in the morning. He also gave a bad account 
of some of our friends across the water. You recollect in a conversa- 
tion coming from M^^ Blounts^ to Edenton on our first visit to that 
place you contrasted your situation with a certain Ladies in cum- 
pany, but if all or the half is true you may <I> thank God that 
things are as they have been. My Husband is pure & uncontami- 
nated from the fashionable views of /the/ present age, you can 
say; at certain hours of the day and night /you can tell/ where your 
Husband is and that he is at all times where you wish him to be. 
You know that at the proper time he is attending to our mutual 
interest; if our dear children are sick you are confident his greatest 
pleasure is to nurse them. But this is a character I should not give 
myself; it would come more properly from you. Untill yesterday 
which was a bad day I have been in the habit of geting up one hour 
before sunrise, I have made great way in ploughing for corn. Today 
is very windy and then falling a great deal of rain yesterday & last 
night, I have them jobing about the barn. M^ Collins also informed 
me that M^s Sawyer^ /was/ so low when he left that he expected 
she must by that time be dead, & that M^s Blair^ had not recovered 
her mind. By account death must be a great relief to M^s Sawyer. 
Give my respects as formerly and believe me my dear Girl to be 
your ever affectionate Husband 

E Pettigrew 

N.B. I have nothing stimulating since the third day after my 
return, I think the outrageous drinking at present will have the 
opposit Effect. 2 ocl. P.M. James told me to inform you that he is 
better which corresponds with my opinion also. E P. 

[Addressed] M^s Ann B. Pettigrew 
New Bern 
N. Carolina 

^This might refer to Ann Hall Blount, widow of James Blount of Mulberry 
Hill, who was brother to Mary Blount Pettigrew, Ebenezer's mother, and to 
Frederick Blount, Nancy's grandfather. Ann Hall Blount was living with her 
unmarried son Clement Hall Blount at the time of their deaths in 1843. See 
Joshua Skinner to Ebenezer Pettigrew, April 24, 1843, in this volume. However, 
both Ebenezer and Nancy Pettigrew refer to her as "Aunt Blount" in earlier 
letters. See Lemmon, Pettigrew Papers, I, 328, 474, 494, 600. 

^Mrs. Margaret Sawyer died on November 29, 1826. North Carolina Star 
(Raleigh), December 15, 1826. 

^This was Margaret Sawyer Blair, daughter of Dr. Matthias E. Sawyer and 
his wife, Margaret. She married George Blair in 1825 and died in 1827 at the age 
of nineteen. North Carolina Star (Raleigh), January 6, 1826; Raleigh Register, 
December 18, 1827. 

76 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

Ann Blount Pettigrew to Ehenezer Pettigrew unc 

Newbern December 18th 1826. 

My dear Husband, 

I am pleased at the arrival of Mail day so that I may have the 
pleasure of conversing with you through the quil, but I have 
nothing [wjorth co[torn] except that I am well, last Saturday I had 
a sick head ache the whole day except that day I have enjoyed 
uninterrupted good health also little Mary is now very well and I 
hope will escape the hooping cough, if I were at home I should 
prefer greatly her having it, but the fear of being kept from my 
family all the winter is my objection — last Saturday William and 
Frederick arrived here, William has been quite sick ever since, I 
think he is in bad health. Frederick bore the joke of the Mare and 
co/a/lt admirably — she did not loose it — he is delighted with 
Pasquotank — one of Old E[noch] Sawyers sons^ was married and 
they had a great deal of frolicking — William gave a Ball, all which 
suited Frederick very well — A son of Mr Poppleston^ is in town a 
genteel lookging man — he is studing Law with IredelP of Edenton — 
The Boys have arrived from Chapel Hill — Richard got the first 
honor in his class — Charles is very much improved — he is hand- 
some — intelligent — and I think you would be pleased with him — 
Mama has a house full of us — so many great Boys remind me of the 
Biddle family. Richard will be an enormous man, he is now only 
16 — and is as large of Frederick — Education is now so universal 
that a young Man is not received or respected in genteel company 
without it — and [torn] who [kn]ows his duty, I [see] not why 
children cannot be well educated — it certainly is the part of a 
Parent to restrain them — I heard the Boys say it would not cost 
them near as much but they have to procure their clothes there, and 
give double the sum it would cost at home — economy is an 
important thing in raising a family — few exercise it I believe — this 
is a noisy house at present — so much company — 

We yesterday had a visit from Mr. Potter Miss Smyths Beaux he 
is very homely I think — he complimented you highly by saying he 
had often heard of your fame which he says has extended to 
Virginia as the most scientific farmer in our country — so you see 
you stand as high as the member of Congress with some — the 
famous potatoe has not yet been baked — it has been shown to 
many who say it is the largest they have seen — it is now beginning 
to rot; I have visited very little since I have been here — the weather 
has been very unsettled, but this morning I set out being 
apprehensive I should delay too long — and returned some of my 
first calls — I fear I shall take cold for yester[da]y wa[s] [torn] and a 
sudden change from <hea> warm to very cold weather — I am 
pleased to hear Doctor Warren and Lady are on the way — I hope 

The Pettigrew Papers 77 

they will remain contentedly but I fear the contrary — Mama got a 
letter from Mary, they had a perilous voyage up the Bay the Steam 
Boat was obliged to turn back once — and after that had a long and 
Boisterous passage. I suspect [torn] wished herself at home — I 
hope I shall get a lette[r] [torn] mail from you dear Husband for 
nothing gives me [so] much pleasure I assure you — the weeks 
appear longer than usual in consequence of my desire for the day to 
approach. Kiss the dear children for me — remember me to all — the 
family all inquire affectionately after you — when they are are 
guilty of little inattentions I am sure it arrises from the negligences 
of youth — and living in the fashionable world — and not from the 
want of respect or affection — 
Believe as ev[er] your affectionate wife, 

Ann B Pettigrew 
[Addressed] Mr E Pettigrew, 
Cool Spring 
Washington County 
North Carolina. 

^ Possibly the groom was William G. Sawyer of Camden County, who married 
Eleanor L. Shannonhouse in November, 1826. North Carolina Star (Raleigh), 
December 8, 1826. Enoch Sawyer lived in Camden County, which he represented 
in the state legislature. He was a delegate to the constitutional ratification 
conventions of 1788 and 1789 and served as collector of customs for the port at 
Camden. He died in 1827. Keith and others, Blount Papers, IV, 198n; Raleigh 
Register, March 27, 1827. 

^This may refer to John Poppleston of Edenton. Lemmon, Pettigrew Papers, 
I, 303n. 

'^ames Iredell, Jr. (1788-1835), of Edenton, served in the state House of 
Commons in eleven sessions between 1813 and 1827. He was governor of North 
Carolina in 1827 and 1828. Cheney, North Carolina Government, 161, 265, 269, 
270, 271, 272, 273, 274, 275, 277, 283, 284, 286, 288, 289, 290. He and Ebenezer 
Pettigrew were school friends. Lemmon, Pettigrew Papers, I, xvii. 

Ann Blount Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew UNC 

Newbern, December 26th 1826. 

My Dear Husband, 

I received your letter on Friday and was much distressed to learn 
you had been sick, also poor little James & Henry — Henry has 
never had the ear ache before, I hope by the next Mail to have my 
anxiety relieved by a more favourable account — for I assure you I 
have passed a week of uneasiness — a letter once a week /which 
gives me information/ from my dear Husband and children is a 
great comfort to me in my absence from them — what a dreary 
world this would be to me without them — a void which nothing 

78 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

could fill — and knowing you must feel a similar anxiety, I have 
written once a week. 

Mama has been quite sick — but is now up — & looks very badly — 
Penelope complains very much of her arm, it is now so stiff she can 
scarce raise it to her head — poor girl she bears her affliction 
astonishingly well — she seems not to enjoy any amusemet the 
town affords. Marys cold is nearly well. I hope she will escape the 
cough Mrs Forlaw^ tells Mama she is the prettiest of her grand- 
children, she is a sweet child, she can walk with the assistance of a 
hand and get up by any thing — Old Forlaw^ — came here the other 
day expressly he said to see my daughter — poor old man is not long 
for this world I suspect — he is a pitiable looking object. 

I am in very fine health — have an excellent appetite which is 
always the case when my health is good. 

I have commissioned Mama to sell my land, I believe she wo[uld] 
make a better Bargain than any one I could get — you know M^^ R. 
and herself are cronies, therefor she will have the advantage. Mr 
Forlaw says the lots that Guildersleeve bought for ten dolls, he now 
offers for 30$ per acre — making 20 on the bargain, which is much 
more than the value — but honest dealing is out of the question 

Mr. Mason was here on [teau]sday with his wife — he looks 
badly — he told me /he/ had a wish to visit you — when at Mackeys 
fgj.jr.y3 ^ jf \^Q could have spared time he should have done so — he 
was supprised when I told him we lived twenty miles from the 
ferry. I see no difference in her appearance. 

The Smyths gave a great ball last night — we were all invited the 
messenger enquired whether you were in town or not — I suppose 
was directed. I suspect they are vexed for not one of us attended — I 
had no inclination to go. 

I had a visit day before yesterday from Mrs Freeman — the 
Ministers wife — she is a very amiable woman — they have a house 
full of fashionable ladies from up the country — they must live at a 
great cost — Mrs Mc K visits us, & gives a detail of the move- 
ments of the gay — 

Frederick Blount goes to all the parties and thinks himself a man 
I suspect he will get along at the Law — his brother will do his best 
for him you know he is great for kin — he is going to E[denton]— in 
two weeks — 

I noticed the latter part of your letter — and be assured I duly 
appreciate all your estimable qualities — I hope I evince it by my 
disposition to please — and my undeviating affection for you — as 
for E[denton] — I think it the sink of vice — to believe the perpetrators 
of such enormities are taken by the hand by respectable people is 
truly amazing — nothing disgraces — conscience is asleep there Mr 
M says that Avery'' is quite a chatty man he has too much milk & 

The Pettigrew Papers 79 

water — composition to reform the profligate — they ought to have 
the eloquence of Demosthenes & the Sword of the Turks to reform 
them — poor Mrs Sawyer is dead and I was not sorry to hear it — 
hers must have been the death bed of sorrow and disgust. I wish 
our children could be raised out of the state of N — C. every day I live 
the more througholy am I convinced that the eastern part of N — 
C — is the meanest part of the world — I sincerely wish my lot had 
been cast in a more agreeable part of the world — alas! what is 
wealth when — <when> health — honor happiness — & eternal 
happiness is at stake — I mean all the lower part of the state — 
Mama got a letter from Mary by the return of the Carriage, she is 
much delighted — at F[hiladelphia] — they visited the Navy yard — 
went on board the Gu[e]rrier[e] — in every apartment of that Ship — 
she is charmed with all she sees, well she may when She has been 
in a corner all her life — , if convenint will you bring Mama a 
Pitcher of fresh butter — it is a scarce article here; they rely on the 
firken butter — prinltorn] I shall expect you the week after 
Christmas I look for[ward] to the time with pleasure — if my 
Husband and children] were in a desert — it would be more 
desirable than any other place to me — Mama promises to spend 
some time in Spring with me — tell Charles James bought ten hogs 
for his Mother to day — he does all the marketing and shopping — 
you would be supprised with what facility he calculates, tell 
Charles to take a little more pains with writing. Kiss our dear 
children for me — remember me — to all — tell your Mother I have 
bought her a pretty gown. Mama joins me i[n] loves — Believe me 
your affectionate wife 

A B Pettigrew 
[Addressed] Mr E Pettigrew 
Cool Spring 
Washington County 


^One Mrs. Forlow, a neighbor of the Shepards, died in 1807. Lemmon, 
Pettigrew Papers, I, 405. Perhaps this refers to one of her relatives. 

^Wilham Shepard mentions his neighbor Mr. Farlow in an 1817 letter to 
Ebenezer. Lemmon, Pettigrew Papers, 1, 587. It is possible that this is the same 
person. He may also be the Mr. Furlow mentioned in Ebenezer Pettigrew to Ann 
Blount Pettigrew, September 17, 1822, in this volume. 

^Mackeys Ferry operated on Albemarle Sound and was located in north 
Washington County. William S. Powell, The North Carolina Gazetteer (Chapel 
Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1968), 307, hereinafter cited as Powell, 
North Carolina Gazetteer. 

"^Probably this was the Reverend John Avery, who was rector of St. Paul's 
Church in Edenton in 1827. Raleigh Register, December 4, 1827; Journal of the 
Diocesan Convention, 1827, 3. 

80 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

Ann Blount Pettigrew to Mary Williams Bryan a&h, bryan 

Lake Phelps February 12th i827. 

My Dear Mary, 

After spending nearly three months in NewBern I have returned 
home, my visit was lengthened in consequence of M^" Pettigrews 
indisposition, he went for me in that very cold spell shorly after 
Christmas which gave him a violent cold a confined him some time 
and from which he has not yet recovered. I left Ma and Penelope is 
their usual health, your Daughter was very fat and interesting and 
has improved in beauty which information will be highly agreeable 
to you no doubt — NewBern is gay to folly but I did not participate — 
a certain old Lady plunges very deep in the vortex of fashion — I 
found her a very entertaining visitor, I like her manners vasly — I 
was honored with an invitation to take a social dish of tea with her 
which you know is not common with her — 

I suppose you have passed the session very pleasantly in 
Washington — I should have been much pleased to have had some 
of your interesting letters, you had such a fine theme I do not know 
how you could avoid writing, I must reproach you a little for such 
indifference. I should have written you from NewBern but it was 
not convenient. 

Doctor Warren has returned with his Richmond wife^ she is a 
beautiful woman — a fine complection — animated black eyes — and 
very intelligent — you would be charmed with her — I expect her to 
see me to morrow to spend some time — they have not yet commenced 
housekeeping — 

Mr Pettigrew joins me in respects to M^ Bryan and yourself — 

Believe me your affectionate Sister 

Ann B Pettigrew 

PS. I did not know the sheet was torn untill I began to write — 
therefore excuse it. 

[Addressed] Hon John H Bryan, 
Washington City. 

^Dr. William C. Warren married Harriet Innis Alexander of Richmond, 
Virginia, in November, 1826. North Carolina Siar (Raleigh), Decembers, 1826. 

The Pettigrew Papers 81 

Ehenezer Pettigrew to John Herritage Bryan a&h, bryan 

Lake Phelps June 18, 1827 

My dear Sir, 

I received your two favours since I had the pleasure of seeing you 
this time last year, and have from time to time determined to 
answer them, but being out of the habit of expessing my opinions 
on paper, also a total want of any thing that could interest you to 
write, makes it a labour which I dread to commence. 

Please to accept my thanks for the different speaches which you 
have sent me, also the pen knife. I am glad to learn from your last 
letter also from M^^ Hines^ that your health is improving. It would 
have given us a great deal of pleasure to have had yours & M^^s 
Bryans company with us on your return from Washington City, 
but I apprehend our solitude would have been too great for you to 
have borne with composure more than two days. Those parties 
which you complain of as aggravating your disease, equally unfit 
the mind for such a place as I live in. 

I observe you are a candidate for a reelection to Congress and I 
suppose cannot fail of being elected, having no opposition. M^^ 
Hines is also a candidate, he has been (since his return from 
Congress) with us twice. I think his election is certain, D^ HalP is 
certainly one of the poorest electioneerers in the state, and Hines is 
one of the best. M^ W. Shepard has also been through his district, 
but I suspect he is too near sighted, I understand his election is very 
doubtfull. Sawyer^ does his business in a very smooth way, does a 
great deal without seeming to be doing anything, which is 
certainly the best way to get a permanent hold on the good will of 
we the sovereign people or in other words we the swinish multitude. 

My affairs jog on as usual, the season has been very cold and a 
part of it dry. It is now seasonable We have had it extremely windy. 
My corn looks well 

Mi^s Pettigrew and the children have been in tolerable health, she 
sends her love to My^ Bryan, please to give mine also and assure 
yourself of the Esteem of 

Very truely your friend 
E Pettigrew 

Hon. J. H. Bryan 

N.B. I inclose you a part of M^ R. M. White's letter of N. York to me 
of Ap 28, 1827. M^ White has accounts with me for the debt due from 
Mr Ogden and takes it to him self. 


82 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

Since writing the above I have receiv^ a leter from Messs V 
Bokkelen & White dated June 6, — Informing that M^ D. B Ogden 
had not yet paid his wine Bill. 

[Addressed] Hon. John H. Bryan 
Newbern N.C 

^Richard Hines, an attorney, was born in Tarboro. He served in the state 
House of Commons in 1824 and was a member of Congress, 1825-1827. An 
active Episcopalian, he was a member of Calvary Church in Tarboro and a 
delegate to the Diocesan Convention of 1833 in Warrenton. Between the date of 
this letter and 1841 he moved to Raleigh, where he joined Christ Church and 
served as a convention delegate in 1841 and as vestryman. Hines was named to 
the state central committee of the Whig party at its 1843 convention. He died in 
1851. Biographical Directory of Congress, 1058; Journal of the Diocesan 
Convention, 1833, 4; Journal of the Diocesan Convention, 1841, 3; Parish 
Register of Christ Church, Raleigh, Burials, 269; North State Whig (Washing- 
ton, N.C), May 4, 1843. 

^Dr. Thomas H. Hall (1773-1853) of Tarboro, a physician, defeated Hines for 
Congress in 1827 and served until himself defeated by Ebenezer Pettigrew in 
1835. He had once before represented his district in Congress, 1817-1825. Hall 
was a Jacksonian Democrat. Biographical Directory of Congress, 992. 

^Lemuel Sawyer (1777-1852), a lawyer in Elizabeth City, served in Congress 
1807-1813, 1817-1823, and 1825-1829, after which he was defeated by Wilham 
Biddle Shepard on the latter's second attempt at election. Sawyer moved to 
Washington, D.C., where he held a federal position until his death. Biographical 
Directory of Congress, 1565. 

William J. Welles^ to Ebenezer Pettigrew unc 

[June 27, 1827] 
E, Pettigrew Esquire 

Dear sir 

Having gotten through with the quarter for which I was engaged 
in the neighborhood of Mess'rs Hodges^ and Bateman,^ it is now in 
my power with pleasure (to myself) to comply with your obliging 
engagement of me, as making one of your family — and it is hoped, 
that by a steady and punctual attendance on my part, to the tuition 
and morals & manners of your children, I shall merit the approba- 
tion of madam Pettigrew & yourself. — The time has passed, very 
agreeably, indeed, during my residence here, having the approba- 
tion, I believe, of those persons (whose children I taught;) friendly 
to my promotion to the hospitality of "the family at the Lake" — 

The quarter here ended with the last week preceding this, but as 
Mr. Hodges has gone on to the city of Raleigh, and requested me to 
remain with his family during his absence, you will please not 

The Pettigrew Papers 83 

expect me at the Lake, until his return, which will be on Sunday 
next, /or/ on monday at farthest — . 

I have the honour to be. Sir 
very respectfully 
Your Hble. Servt 
WiUiam J Welles 

Newport Scupng 

27th June 1827 

^ Other than the internal evidence that Welles planned to tutor the Pettigrew 
children, no information about him has been found. 

^This might refer to Wilson B. Hodges, who later represented Hyde County in 
the state Senate and in the Constitutional Convention of 1835. Keith and 
others, Blount Papers, IV, 347; Cheney, North Carolina Government, 311, 817. 

^Possibly this was Daniel Bateman of Tyrrell County, who in 1820 had three 
sons and three daughters and would have had good use for a tutor. 1820 Federal 
Census, LH, 4. He may be the Daniel Bateman who represented Tyrrell in the 
state legislature in seven sessions between 1815 and 1822. Also, a Daniel N. 
Bateman served in the General Assembly from the same county nine times 
between 1825 and 1835. Cheney, North Carolina Government, 268, 272, 273, 275, 
277, 279, 281, 286, 288, 290, 292, 294, 295, 296, 298, 302. According to Coon, North 
Carolina Schools and Academies, no academies existed in Tyrrell County prior 
to 1840. 

Samuel I. Johnston^ to Ebenezer Pettigrew unc 

Edenton July 15 1827 

Mr Pettigrew 

My Dear Sir 

I am truly obliged to you for the favour confered by writing to me; 
and ought to have acknowledged the same some time since, but 
really I have felt so little like writing that I have postponed it from 
time, I have suffered more than I usually have done lately with my 
head I do not know what cause to ascribe it to if it be not the 
unaccustomed on Sundays. I have had service three times during 
the day — until the last two Sundays — when I had communion & 
baptisms — and have been so compleatly exhausted that I really 
had not the ability to perform the third service — but I shall soon be 
relieved from this pressure of duty as M^ A[very]. will return early 
next month — & I have a notion of spending most of my time after 
then at Nags Head — I am truly gratified to hear that Cousin 
James' health has improved so much. I thank God for it and may it 
please him to restore him entirely. Edenton is about as quiet as 
<usual> it us/u/ally is. Indeed much more so than it has been for 

84 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

years at an election. There seems to be no excitement on the subject 
of the election in this place it has been remarkably quiet — It has 
been healthy up to this time, but I hear that Miss Ann Page is quite 
sick with fever also M^^s Page son is not so well. James & myself 
have escaped thus far. the rest of my family is at Nags Head where 
they enjoy health. 

Mr Collins is over but I have had no opportunity of conversing 
with him. He & The D^ (T. D. W) [Thomas Davis Warren] seem to be 
very friendly, but with you I think it no sign of a wedding the D^^ 
has just returned from his Chattanooga trip, but I have not been 
able to ascertain what else the convention did but adjourn to meet 
again in November he was highly delighted with his trip and says 
there is no doubt but what the Southern University will be 
established. 2 Edenton will soon be deserted a large number went 
away on last Saturday & Tuesday. And they will continue to go — I 
hear that we are to have an opposition boat from Washington, 
town in this state a very superior steamer Pamplico she will during 
the Nags Head season, [go] there from this place & the towns <on 
the> in this vicinity & will be a day boat during the winter, to 
Blackwater, I hope that you may continue well & enjoy yourself at 
the Springs — My own George who leaves tonight for Chapel Hill — 
desires his regards to you & his love to Cousin James, please give 
my love to Cousin James — very truly & sincerly 

Your friend 
S. I. Johnston 

Dr Lewis was in Edenton last Friday, and is quite well — he brought 
his son Henry over to send him up to M^* Binghams^ — our friend the 
Rev Mr Haughton"^ has received a call & accepted it, from Christ 
Ch. New Berne he spent a few hours with me last Friday — [yrs] S I. 

crops are excellent — 

^Samuel I. Johnston was an Episcopal deacon at this time. In 1835 he was at 
Calvary Church, Wadesboro; he was ordained priest and became rector there in 
1836. Sometime before 1841, he returned to St. Paul's, Edenton, as its rector. 
Journal of the Proceedings of the Nineteenth Annual Convention of the 
Protestant Episcopal Church, in the State of North Carolina . . . 1835 
(Fayetteville: Edward J. Hale, 1835), 3, hereinafter cited as Journal of the 
Diocesan Convention, 1835; Journal of the Proceedings of the Twentieth 
Annual Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the State of North 
Carolina . . . 1836 (Fayetteville: Edward J. Hale, 1836), 3, hereinafter cited as 
Journal of the Diocesan Convention, 1836; Journal of the Diocesan Convention, 
1841, 3. 

^In spite of the optimism expressed here, the University of the South at 
Sewanee, Tennessee, was not founded until 1857. Yearbook of Higher 
Education, 1980-81 (Chicago: Marquis Academic Media, 1981), 515. 

The Pettigrew Papers 85 

^William James Bingham (1802-1866) of Hillsborough graduated from the 
University of North Carolina in 1825 with first honors and studied law with 
Archibald D. Murphey. The death of his father, a schoolmaster, caused him to 
return to Hillsborough in 1826 to take over the Bingham academy. Under his 
leadership the school acquired a national reputation. He married Eliza, 
daughter of Judge William Norwood of Hillsborough. In politics he was a Clay 
Whig. Powell, DNCB, I, 161; Battle, History of the University, I, 791. See also 
Coon, North Carolina Schools and Academies. 

^No Episcopal clergyman in North Carolina at this time by the name of 
Haughton has been identified. However, Thomas Goelet Haughton of Edenton, 
an 1834 graduate of the University of North Carolina, was at one time an 
Episcopal clergyman. Battle, History of the University, I, 795. The Reverend 
Richard Sharpe Mason was rector at Christ Church until, apparently, early in 
1828. Ann Blount Pettigrew to Mary Williams Bryan, February 19, 1828, in this 

[James Louis Petigru to Jane Gihert Petigru NorthJ^ unc 

Sullivans Island, 31st Aug. 1827. 

My dear Jane, 

The last mail brought your letter from Pendleton informing us 
that you were no longer Jane Petigru — Well — I hope you will have 
the grace to be a good wife and that your husband may give a good 
account of you. I have no idea that a woman should marry at all, 
unless she is willing to devote herself heart and soul to promote the 
good of her husband — Men have many ways to show themselves 
clever fellows — in the service of the state in peace & war; politics 
and religion, all are before them to choose, & if one shines in these, 
a moderate neglect of home & family is by the consent of mankind 
conceded to him. But a woman if she has a sense of virtue and 
honor is to show it like Solomon's /good/ wife in rising betimes & 
setting her maidens to work, [incomplete] 

^James Louis Petigru (1789-1863) was a South Carolina attorney and cousin 
to Ebenezer Pettigrew, his father, William Pettigrew (1758-1837), having been 
brother to the Reverend Charles Pettigrew. Lemmon, Pettigrew Papers, I, xiv. 
James Louis's mother, Louise Gibert, was a Huguenot from Charleston. The 
change in spelling of the surname occurred about the time that James Louis 
graduated from South Carolina College in 1809. He became an outstanding 
Unionist and an eloquent opponent of secession. DAB, XIV, 514-515. 

Petigru's brother Thomas was a captain in the United States Navy. George 
C. Rogers, Jr., The History of Georgetown County, South Carolina (Columbia: 
University of South Carolina Press, 1970), 254-255, hereinafter cited as Rogers, 
Georgetown County. He entered the navy as a midshipman on January 1, 1812, 
and was forced to retire in 1855. The 1812 register of naval officers gives the 
surname as Pettigrew; in 1822 the spelling changed to Pettigru. "Names, Rank, 
Pay, and Rations, of the Officers of the Navy and Marine Corps. Communicated 
to the House of Representatives, February 4, 1812," American State Papers: 
Naval Affairs (Washington: Gales and Seaton, 4 volumes, 1834-1861), I, 

86 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

Document 90, p. 262, hereinafter cited as American State Papers: Naval 
Affairs; "List of Naval Officers. Communicated to the Senate, February 21, 
1814," American State Papers: Naval Affairs, I, Document 110, p. 303; "Naval 
Register for the Year 1822. Communicated to the Senate, January 7, 1822," 
American State Papers: Naval Affairs, I, Document 203, p. 754; James Petigru 
Carson, Life, Letters, and Speeches of James Louis Petigru (Washington: W. H. 
Lowdermilk and Company, 1920), 314, 316, 322, hereinafter cited as Carson, 
James Louis Petigru. 

Another brother, Charles, was an officer in the army; see the letter to his 
sister from Appalachicola, Florida, April 29, 1835, in this volume. He was a 
second lieutenant in the Fburth Artillery, serving from July 1, 1829, until his 
death on October 6, 1835. Thomas H. S. Hamersley (comp.). Complete Regular 
Army Register of the United States for One Hundred Years, 1779 to 1879 
(Washington: Privately printed, 1880), 689. 

Two sisters have been identified. Adele Petigru (1810-1896) married Robert 
Francis Withers Allston, a South Carolina rice planter. Rogers, Georgetown 
County, 276. The other sister, Jane Gibert Petigru, to whom this letter was 
written, married John Gough North and was left a young widow with three 
daughters: Jane Caroline, Mary Charlotte, and Louisa Gibert. See Draft 
Conveyance, April, 1836, Pettigrew Family Papers, Southern Historical 
Collection, in which Gibert is misspelled Gilbert. 

Other siblings were John (1791-?), Mary C. (1803-1872), Louise (1805-1869), 
and Harriette (1813-1877). Martha W. Daniels to Sarah McCulloh Lemmon, 
February 16, 1983. William and Robert are listed erroneously as sons of William 
Pettigrew in the genealogical chart in Lemmon, Pettigrew Papers, I, xiv; 
actually they were sons of Ebenezer Pettigrew of Ninety-Six, South Carolina. 

Ann Blount Pettigrew to Mary Williams Bryan a&h, bryan 

Lake Phelps Sept 24th 1827— 
Dear Mary, 

Yours of the 22"^ of Aug--I received with much pleasure, I was in 
bed with a slight bihous fever when it arrived and you may be sure 
it was doubly gratifying to hear from a relation at such a time, I am 
now quite well except a bad cold — which is very prevalent here. 

I understand D^ Norcom says Frederick was the most imprudent 
person as respects health he had ever seen, he was very ill — I am 
supprised at his Northern trip, but ventures makes Merchants — 
Lem. Sawyer was elected by a great majority, it is useless for a man 
to oppose him, which certainly reflects on the District. 

I suppose you have not prevailed on your husband to cease from 
serving the public, it must be a fascinating business — I believe 
some of our county representatives would almost as soon forfeit 
their lives as their exlections — and probably their families are 
suffering at home. 

Col. Hodges whose house we dined at is broken up, he will be 
entirely sold out and his family destitute, he had a comfortable 
living and appeared to be care taking. 

The Pettigrew Papers 87 

We have had a Storm which injured the corn, but nothing else, I 
can sympathise with regard to the musquitoes with you, since the 
storm they are worse than I ever saw them, the woods is aUve with 
them, we have no pleasure in our pleasant walks, they seem to be 
confined to the woods. 

The country is very sickly and D^ Warren is constantly employed, 
his wife continues to enjoy good /health/, I think she is in [no] 
danger, being a very healthy looking woman — I have not seen her 
for some time — her husbands engagements precludes visiting. The 
weather is remarkably cool. 

I am sorry John and Maria Shepard have had the distress to 
loose their youngest child, John's letters give us reason to believe 
he promises himself a vast deal from his move to Florida. I hear he 
has purchased a most valuable sugar farm in that country, some 
person told Mr. Caraway, who had seen it: I am very sorry he goes 
so far — but it is a duty incumbent on us all to provide for a living. 

I am glad to hear your son has recovered — I give you credit for 
the throwing off the fine lady, but I doubt whether you deserve it or 
not for a housefull of children it an insuperable bar. and of course 
/it is/ not a voluntary act. 

I am much obliged to you for the invitation to visit you, but you 
know my impediments, therefore I need not apologise, my will is 
good I assure you — I have a very large troublesome family — Mrs 
Warrenton has not returned from her summer visit, which com- 
menced in <Ju> May, she is a Quaker is one respect, which is, 
moving when the Spirit moves — her niece<s> is going to be 
married to our cousin John Beasly^ who lost his wife last fall, he 
has been courting Miss Walker — 

I hope you will <will> write soon — give my love to Mama & 
Penelope — M^ Pettigrew desires <to> his respects to M^" Bryan & 
yourself — also present mine — and Believe me your affectionate 
Sister — 

Ann B Pettigrew 
[Addressed] Mrs Mary Bryan, 


yohn Baptist Beasley was the grandson of John Baptist Beasley of Edenton, 
who died in 1790, and his wife Elizabeth Blount Beasley, sister to Ebenezer 
Pettigrew's mother. The first Beasley had five children: Joseph; Frederick, 
identified earlier in this volume; John, who practiced medicine in Edenton; 
Martha, who married David Ryan after 1790; and Rebecca, who married a 
Swann prior to 1790. Will of John Baptist Beasley, Chowan County Wills, Book 
B, 87, North Carolina Archives. 

The eldest son, Joseph Beasley of Bertie County, died in 1801, leaving one 
minor child, the John Baptist Beasley mentioned in this letter. Joseph left all 

88 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

his property to his son and directed that his brother Frederick use it at his 
discretion to educate the boy. Joseph's will (Chowan County Wills, Book B, 
174-175, North Carolina Archives) was witnessed by David and Mary Ryan, 
possibly the same Mary referred to in Frederick Beasley to Dr. John Beasley, 
April 11, 1805, in Lemmon, Pettigrew Papers, I, 364. 

Dr. John Beasley married Ann (Nancy) Slade; she died in 1810. Raleigh 
Register, January 25, 1810. His 1814 will (Chowan County Wills, Book C, 26, 
North Carolina Archives) mentions four children; see Ann Blount Pettigrew to 
Mary Williams Bryan, November 15, 1824, footnote 5, in this volume. He made 
a bequest to his two nephews, John Ryan and the John Baptist Beasley of this 
volume. Ebenezer Pettigrew was one of the executors of the will. 

The younger John Baptist Beasley served in the state Senate from Tyrrell 
County, 1821-1831, and from Washington County, 1835. Cheney, North 
Carolina Government, 278, 280, 281, 283, 285, 287, 289, 291, 293, 294, 304. He 
appears in Tyrrell County in the 1820 Federal Census, LH, 2, as a head of 
household of five males and three females, and in the 1830 Census Index, 12, 
also in Tyrrell. 

William Shepard Pettigrew. to Mary Lockhart Pettigrew unc 

Lake Phelps 6th October 1827 

Dear Grandma' 

This being my turn to write, I now have the pleasure and honor of 
addressing my respects to one who is so nearly related to my Pa's 
family, my brother Charles and myself have come under an 
agreement to write alternately every Saturday, and I mean to try 
very hard to exceed my brother Charles in the writing, if not to 
excel him in my composition, at any rate, I know that my dear 
Grand-Ma' will rejeice to see our improvements in writing, from 
time to time, we are glad, both to have so good an opportunity, and 
such discernment as yours, to stimulate our pens, in this pleasing 
task. We are all in pretty good health at present, my Pa' and Ma' 
are both very well, and brother James, and little sister [Mary\ are 
now convalescent Those apples which you were so good to send my 
Ma were very fine. I remain with great respect 

Your dutiful grandson 
William Shepard Pettigrew 
[Addressed] Mrs. Mary Pettigrew 
Washington County 

The Pettigrew Papers 89 

Lawrence J. Haughton to William Shepard Pettigrew unc 

Scuppernong Dec. 20. 1827 
Mr Wm S Pettigrew 

Dear Sir 

I have had the pleasure of receiving a communication from you 
and have to thank you for opening a correspondence, the affect of 
which will not only be an improvement to our young minds, but 
will also engender the most friendly dispositions betwen us, you 
/wished/ to be informed by the return post whether your letter 
shall have been received. Your favor has just now come to hand. 
We got along very well with my Cousins wild horse. 

You could not have regreted more than myself the shortness of 
my visit at the Lake, and feel assured I shall never loose an 
opportunity of enjoying the agreeable society of your self and your 
brother Charles. I should be very hapy to see you in Scuppernong 
during the gay /season/ of christmas and if you can prevail on 
your papa to let you leave th delightful /solitude/ of the Lake for a 
few days do come out, my papa's family is well and with my respect 
to Charles, believe me your friend 

And Obt Servt 
Lawrence J Haughton 
[Addressed] M^ W^ S Pettigrew 
Lake Phelps 

Snoad B. Carraway to Ebenezer Pettigrew unc 

Wheat Swamp, Lenoir County Jany. 21st 1828 

My dear Friend 

The /day/ I left you, and your interesting family, made an 
impression on my heart that never can be effaced. The conflicting 
emotions that agitated and affected my feelings, evinced a week- 
ness, which would be thought by some, unbecoming the dignity of 
a man, and perhaps Sir, correctly too, but my kind friend, in me 
they were the ebulitions of an aching heart emenating from the 
best feelings of my nature, A retrospective of the last 17 years of my 
life are well calculated to produce all I have felt, and yet feel, to 
describe which, I am entirely incompetent 

It is with no ordinary degree of pleasure, I inform /you/ that I 
was married on the tenth,^ am now enjoying the company of an 
Affectionate Woman, and have resumed the business of an 
agricultural life, to both of which I shall devote myself with 

90 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

unremitted attention, The result of such a course is obvious, and to 
you Sir it is /too/ well known, to require a single remark, in truth 
all I could say on the subject would be superfluous, happiness, is 
the great desideratum, and no Man in my Opinion enjoys more 
than yourself. 

I have no news of much interest to communicate The people of 
this /county/ are embarrased, and many very much distressed A 
weathy man was sold out the other day, at a great sacrifice. 24,00 
acres of good land, with a large and well improved farm and fine 
buildings of every kind. Sold. $3700. Negroes sold very low. young 
fellows from 15. to 25 years old went at $225. and the highest price 
given was $275 Girls. 12 years old. at $140. woman & four likely 
children at $400. likely young fellow, and an excellent carpenter at 
$400 Six months credit. Corn has been sold in this neighbourhood 
at 90 cents pr Bbl. on a credit. Pork at Newbern $350. great 
quantities of that article has been lost during the warm weather, 
owing to the great losses in every part of the country I think Bacon 
will be high next summer. 

Low land of excellent quality in this county and Jones, can be 
purchased at $1 pr acre; their is several tracts contain[in]g several 
thousand acres each, of as fine land as any in Scuppernong: it 
abounds with every variety of timber common to our best land; and 
thickly set with reeds. Very few persons are engaged in reclaiming 
it, a general dislike to the use of the spade seems to pervade every 
part of our country. 

Mrs Carraway joins me in respects to M^s Pettigrew and yourself 
We expect to visit Tyrrel in the latter part of February and intend 
giving ourselves the pleasure of spending a few days with you, 
please remember me affectionately to the children to Mr Wells [the 
tutor] & Mr Woodly. And accept the best wishes 

of your friend and 
respectful Srvt 
S. B Carraway 

E. Pettigrew Esqr 

I have sent by the Waggon your Trunk to the care of M^ Hathaway 
by whom it will be forwarded — for the use of which please accept 
my grateful thanks — 

[Addressed] Ebenezer Pettigrew Esq^" 

Lake Phelps. i 

^He married Harriet Wiggins in Lenoir County. Raleigh Register, January 

25, 1828. 

The Pettigrew Papers 91 

Ann Blount Pettigrew to Mary Williams Bryan a&h, bryan 

Lake Phelps, February 19th [1828] 

My Dear Sister, 

Having understood from William that you had another child I 
take this opportunity of congratulating you on the birth of a fine 
son. I have no doubt but the stock will be increased eve/r/y 
eighteen months, very fortunate for us, the breed is so good, so 
smart, &c — . I suppose you have seen your husbands speech on the 
slave subject, he was polite enough to send us a copy, and we 
admire it and think it much to the purpose. 

Mrs Warren has a fine son, she had a narrow chance for her life 
in parturition, she was delivered by her husband, Mrs Norton was 
present and told me, she had the worst labour she ever saw. 

The Madam & the Misses Collinses are on the Lake, appear to be 
much pleased with it, interest, what a powerful stimulus. Their is a 
D'' Page^ also visiting them here, from Virginia, probably on a 
courting expedition, do not speak of it before Mrs McK — The Lake 
looks as usual at this season of the year, the wheat we are sorry to 
think remarkably foward, and the spring frosts will probably serve 
it, as when you were here, this continues to be the warmest winter I 
scarcely have known. William our brother appears to be in bad 
health, I beleive he has been so for some time very fortunate for 
him he is not encumbered with a family he can <can> now go 
about for his health, without any cares comparatively — he thinks 
your daughter far outstrips mine in point of beauty, Mary had a 
very severe spell in the fall and has not recovered her complexion, 
she looks very delicate but is quite sprightly. 

I have lately been to a wedding down the county, J Beasly was 
married to Mrs Warrenton's niece Mary Alexander, they had a 
very nice wedding. I was quite supprised at your having a ball in 
absence of M^ B. William says Mama is quite gay and in fine 
health, I was highly pleased to hear it. 

I was supprised to hear Mr Mason had left New Bern, your town 
is unfortunate, in not being able to keep an episcopal Minister, 
whether is it the fault of Parson or the people? I suppose the Church 
is closed, a Minister calculated to please the people must be 
immaculate, he must be divested of his human nature, he must not 
have the sensibilities of other men. What a world we do inhabit — 

Give my love to Mama & family, Mr Pettigrew joins me in love to 
yourself — 

Your aff sister — 
Ann B Pettigrew. 

92 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

P.S. I should be very happy to receive a visit from you this spring. 
WilHam told me that Mama expected me to /go/ to Pasquotank 
with her but my situation will not permit it. do conclude to come. 

[Addressed] Mrs Mary W Bryan, 
New Bern, 


^This probably refers to Dr. Mathew Page. — - 

Ehenezer Pettigrew to James Cathcart Johnston unc 

Lake Phelps March 25, 1828 

My dear Sir, 

From the wish you expressed when I was with you to hear from 
my sick family, I take the pleasure of writing you. 

When I got to town the morning I left you, I found a traviler in the 
ferry boat waiting; I accordingly eat a slight breakfast and at eight 
set out. When I landed at McKeys, I found a note from M^s 
Pettigrew, which I sent you by Davie. My horse was ready and in 
seven hours from leaving Edenton Wharf I was at home. I found 
my family in about the state M^^ P. had informed me the day 
before. They have however all pretty well recovered, ecept poor 
little James who is in about the same state as when you were last 
informed. His nerves are all affected, but his right side so much, 
that it is with difficulty he can walk, his tongue is so much 
paralised that he can scarcely be understood. It is a sore affliction 
to us; the Doctor gives us great hopes of his recovery by saying that 
he has no doubt of it. 

I have since my return some pretty sharp twinges of the gout one 
of the places I suspect is in the back, and if it is in that place, by the 
Doctors account, my measure of suffering has but begun. / begun. 

The frost which we have had since I saw you I fear has killed half 
my wheat; I am weeding in the furrow for corn my first sown. You 
may ask, why weed it? There would be too much straw for a second 
ploughing, it is half thigh high. It is not necessary to remark to you 
that with such misfortunes and the low prices of produce it is 
difficult for farmers to make both ends meet, and that without 
prudence & economy, be them never so industrious, they cannot 
get along. 

The Lake is but barely high enough to saw, I hope to have the 
greater part of your plank the next week. I saw day & night. The 
Captain who I expected to send your plank by, says his engage- 
ments in Baltimore will not permit him to take it. I expect to be able 

The Pettigrew Papers 93 

to get a vessil in the river as soon as it is ready. I have dechned 
altering my saw for the present according to the one I saw at 
Coffields, untill an experiment is made of a very hght gate. The 
improvement I saw proves one thing, that it is not necessary to 
have the saw tight to cut a streight Hne, and I intend having a gate 
so small as to give almost no weight, an evil I have spent some time 
in thinking how to obviate. 

I hope Miss Fannys health is quite restored before this. M^s 
Pettigrew sends her best respects to her & Miss Helen, ^ Please to 
give mine also to them and assure yourself of the Esteem & Regard 
of your sincere friend 

E Pettigrew 

James C. Johnston Esqr 

[Addressed] James C Johnston Esqr 
Edenton Post Office 

^The two sisters of James C. Johnston were Frances P. (Fanny) Johnston, 
born February 25, 1785, and died July 6, 1837; and Helen S. Johnston, born 
November 29, 1787, and died October 19, 1842. Mrs. John S. Welborn (comp.). 
North Carolina Tombstone Records (High Point, N.C.: Daughters of the 
American Revolution, 3 volumes, 1935-1939), HI, 48-49 (although the entry for 
the Johnston Family Cemetery in Chowan County erroneously gives 1812 as 
the year of Helen S. Johnston's death); Ebenezer Pettigrew to James Cathcart 
Johnston, October 21, 1842, in this volume. 

[Ebenezer Pettigrew] to Moses E. Cator"^ a&h 

Lake Phelps March 30, 1828 

My dear Sir, 

Your favors of Sep 12, & 27 came safe to hand for which please to 
accept my sincere thanks, also your kind offer to attend to any of 
my business though inconvenient. How I have permited <to let> 
them to lay by me so long unanswered is to me strange, but I have 
been promising from time to time untill now. As respects the 
division of the land, I am satisfied, I have perfect confidence in the 
honesty of your principles. And I now autorise you as fully as a 
letter can, to deed that part amounting to 106V4, to M^ Johnston for 
locating the tract, and the other part to amounting to 106^4, to 
whoever you may think proper to sell to, as it is your interest in the 
tract according to the agreement between us according to a power 
of atorney given to you by me over some lands owned by me on 
Roaring river, from which the land now in question was obtained. 

94 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

If the above will be a sufficient power for you to secure the lands 
above mentioned, please to inform me and whatever may be farter 
necessary and I am ready at any time to do it. What is best or right 
to do with M^^ Frost I am unable to say. I am very much averse to 
law at any rate but at such a distance is still worse, and whether 
there is sufficint ground for recovery depends on circumstances. I 
will leave that subject to your discretion & judgment. I fear M^^ 
Frost will do as great an evil to the land as flooding or rendering it 
sickley, which is taking of all the valuable timber for the mill. I can 
have no knowledge of the gentleman and if I should do him 
injustice I beg his pardon, he may be one of the most honest men. I 
should be glad if his mill could be stoped but be cautious of law 
unless your ground is undoubted. Perhaps you could sell to M^" 
Frost or some other <pers> person at a tolerable price, if so pray do 
it without delay. I shall be glad to hear that your <trips> last trip to 
Roaring river is over. Pray what did you sell your part of the land 
for. I do not think you may have the least hope of geting the ten 
dollars of M^'s Hooker. I will the next time I see her make one other 
effort and if I succeed I will inform you. I must be in arrears to you I 
should like to know how much and how I can pay it. I have some 
expectation that one of M^s Pettigrews Brothers will be your state 
this spring to attend to the lands of family on Obian, if so I will get 
him to call and settle with you. I should be glad if you will continue 
your attention to the little [pieces] you have been a while longer. I 
know not the country it is in or the river it is on or the name of the 
county town. Our crop of corn last year was abundant, though we 
had a storm in the fall, it is now dull at 150^ pr barrel. The cotton 
crop was very bad, in truth with most persons it was almost a clear 
mess. The price is about 8 or 9 cents. We have an extreme warm 
winter, but few frosts in it. There has been two or three this spring 
which has done some injury to the first sown wheat. The winter 
has been so warm that a great number of families have lost their 
pork. There is nothing in this county worth relating. Col. Hodges 
has failed and moved to Washington, he has left much to part of his 
debts and others to go without their money. Among those who are 
to pay his debts as security is Burton Hathaway, he has had the 
whole of his property sold except his land, and it is expected that 
will go also. Mi^s Ester Alexander the former widow of Asa Phelps & 
Jeremiah Tarkinton her brother died about a fortnight ago. John 
Beasley was married this winter to Miss Mary Alexander a 
daughter of Henry Alexander the sheriff. 

The Pettigrew Papers 95 

Ebenezer Pettigrew to John Herritage Bryan unc 

Lake Phelps March 31, 1828 

My dear Sir, 

Your favour of Jan. 30 came safe to hand, as well as your inclosed 
speech on the rights of property, for which please to accept my 
thanks. I think you did ample justice to the subject. The ideas 
expressed by the opposition on that question were to me very 
strange, and proves satisfactorily what will be attempted when 
there is sufficient power. I hope I shall be out of the way when that 
day arrives. 

I have received from M^ Ogden through my friends, V Bokkelen 
& White the amount for the wine. 

The absence from your family must be a great privation, but to 
one unaccustomed to it insupportable; and I should suppose the 
neglect of your professional business by your absence would in the 
end destroy it. We at this time are in great need in Congress of men 
of firm, independent principles, and I fear our state can boast of as 
few on that floor as any other in the Union. 

Frederick Shepard & [Frederick ?] Blount, were with us last week, 
they say that all were well at Newbern. Shepard had understood 
that there was a small insurrection on his Plantation, which he 
was anxious to go home and quell. My family have enjoyed very 
good health since the fall untill this month, since which time most 
of them have been complaining. Poor little James my third son has 
an affection of the nerves, a disease called St. Vitus' dance, which 
has distressed us very much. He walks with great difficulty and his 
tongue is so much affected that he can scarcely be understood, we 
have to take him from school. The Doctor says the disease can be 
cured but that it is a work of time. 

We have had an extraordnary winter, from its mildness my 
wheat is too forward, some of the first sown is much injured by the 
spring frosts, of which we have had several very hard ones. Corn 
appears to be a very heavy article and the holders scarcely know 
what to do with it. It is thought by most persons that the Tariff, the 
canals & railroads into the western country will destroy the Bread 
stuff farmers on the Atlantic. I think their extravagant manner of 
living and the idleness of the labouring class, will do that without 
the aid of the industry and enterprise of the west. M^s Pettigrew 
sends her Respects to you and Please to assure yourself of the 
Esteem of your 

Obdt Svt. 
E Pettigrew 

96 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

Hon. John H. Bryan 

[Addressed] Hon. John H. Bryan: H.R 
Washington City 

Ann Blount Pettigrew to Mary Williams Bryan UNC 

Lake Phelps April 15th 1828 

My Dear Sister, 

Your letter by Frederick I received with much pleasure, your 
letters always give me great gratifycation, but your last was 
indeed such a rarity that it produced a twofold pleasant sensation. 
I think you must be mistaken as respects my being in debt a letter 
to you, but as I think it an immaterial point among friends I shall 
not contend — I assure you my mind is now so much engaged that I 
am scarcely ever sufficiently composed for letter writing — I have 
almost as much trouble as if I had three infants, I suppose you have 
heard of poor James's situation. Dr Warren says he can cure him 
but that it will be <a> some time first, he is now taking mercury 
and when the weather becomes comfortable, he intends using the 
cold bath, his disease commenced with a twitching in his right arm 
and leg but his arm is now quite useless, but notwithstanding all 
this, he retains his spirits and is disposed to run about and play, 
which is consolatory to me, if he were depressed I should be 
miserable indeed — Mrs Warren passed a few days here last week — 
the Doct. purchased a neat little carriage for the purpose of visiting 
Virginia, but James's sickness precludes the idea — she cannot go 
alone & the D^" cannot go with her, she has a fine son and they are 
very fond of it. 

Mrs Collins is now at the Lake with her youngest daughter 
Alethia, who is little older than Henry and a sweet child, Henry 
and Mary visited Miss, the other day and Mary returned with a 
Doll, a present which delighted her, never having seen any thing of 
the kind before. We have constant variations of weather from heat 
to cold — sunny to cloudy &c, such a season I have never before 
seen — Mr Pettigrew is unable to determine whether his wheat will 
be destroyed or not — I heard this morning that Aunt Pettigrew was 
quite sick with a bad cold, except that she enjoys good health and 

I understand the Stanleys have failed — what a reverse — ! 

I suppose your husband will soon return, I should suppose he 
would be tyred of Washington — 

I thank you for the frock you sent Mary — also the raisons which 
were very good — 

The Pettigrew Papers 97 

Kiss the children for me — 

Mr Pettigrew desires his respects to you, 

beheve me your aff sister, 
Ann B. Pettigrew 
[Addressed] Mrs Mary W. Bryan, 


D. Stone to Ehenezer Pettigrew unc 

Plymouth [Maine] June 28th i828. 

Dear Sir, 

I received your letters about two months after date. Yours which 
informed me your family had been sick also gave me the pleasure 
of hearing that they had recovered; I suppose you expect it once a 
year; and I dont think you will be disappointed often. 

But Sir, are you still making improvements on your possesions, 
have you got through to Alligator with your ditch, and does the 
water run to or from the Lake I should like to know that. If there 
were a few more men around you as spirited and enterprizing as 
yourself about improvements, then might the Dismal Swamp be 
made to blossom as the rose and to bring forth abundantly. Such 
men are to scarce; But how are more to be raised, what others have 
tried by precept you have attempted by a still more powerful 
stimulus viz. Example. 

I hope when you take a tour to the North you will come as far as 
the State of Maine. My health has been tolerable good since I 
returned, better than when I left the Lake. My passage down the 
river, crossing the Sound & putting up at the Queens Hotel I shall 
not forget very soon; should it ever be my fortune to stop there 
again I hope [she] will something decent to eat. Agreeable to your 
request I inform you that you can direct (if you wish) to, /the care 
of/ Ephraim Jones Esq. Boston. 22 Portland street. (PS) I hope to 
be where I can send you the animal you wish for, next fall. Last 
season I was some distance from the seaboard which made it 
inconvenient to attend to it at the right time. 

I have not heard (except by you) from Doct. Warren, I should like 
to know if he received my letter & whether he remains in 
Scuppernong yet. Please to let me know /how/ Mr. Woodleys well 
and water works belonging thereto operate; 

He engaged to write to me when he was married I shall expect a 
letter from him soon please to remind him of his promise. 

The provisions which Mrs. Pettigrew provided for me /when I 
left/ were of great service to /me/ down the river ha[d torn] not 

98 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

been for them I believe I should have starved as my appetite was so 
poor I could not eat any thing they had on board the vessel. Please 
to write soon and often and let the Boys do so to. 

Rememeber me to Mrs. P., my scholars and all my friends who 
shall do me the honour to enquire after me. 

Yours respectfully 
D Stone. 

Please to direct your letters to me in Plymouth, Maine. ~^ 

[Addressed] Ebenezer Pettigrew Esqr 
Lake Phelps, 
North Carolina. 

Ann Blount Pettigrew to Mary Williams Bryan a&h, bryan 

Lake Phelps August 4th 1828— 

My Dear Sister, 

Your kind letter was thankfully received a few weeks since, I 
assure you it was as you beleived, peculiarly grateful, <at that> for 
at such a time I am always depressed and all the kindness I can 
receive is not too much, I am nearly recovered from my late 
confinement and have a very healthy child, which is a blessing I 
am thankful for, we think of calling him Johnston, as children are 
not rarities in our family I will not give a dissertation on his quite 
disposition, beauty, &c — 

The rest of our family are well, James is mending — do you know 
those cases of St Vitus's dance in Newbern, & how they were cured? 
Mr Pettigrew has been very unwell, but is now mending. Aunt 
Pettigrew shews age, is very feeble, but has returned home to day 
from visiting us, she could not be prevaild on to stay one day longer 
than the one appoined for her return, set out before breakfast for 
the benefit of a cool morning, shorty after sunrise, she is really a 
very remarakable woman of her age. 

I am pleased to hear of M'' Bryan's return, your patience I think 
must have been nearly exhausted, if his was not. A trip to West 
Point would have been a very pleasant one you must have 
regretted the disapp<o>intment — can it be possible, that Frederick 
is making a Northern trip, I merely think so from an expression in 
Charles's letter, we never hear from him through the quil, has 
William gone to Tennessee? I extremely regret that antipathy to 
writing, which prevails in our family, you are not totally exempt, 
your letters are too short — you know my seclusion so well, you 
should be more charitable, I have many excuses that none of the 

The Pettigrew Papers 99 

family have, a want of something to write which is first, I always 
fear from the sameness and extreme dullness of my epistles, they 
are tiresome. How is M^* Stanly poor man I sincerely pity his 
misfortunes, pity a few years ago would have excited his hatred & 
contempt, but alas! the destiny of man, how fortunate for us we 
cannot foresee. 

Mrs Warren visited me not long since, her visits are less frequent 
the addition of one child has obliged her to stay at home — I am very 
happy to understand that Mama will visit me this November, I 
wish you would persuade her to stay all the winter with us, do let 
me know the state of Penelope's arm. 

I suppose you will spend next winter in Washington — then you 
will persuade M^* Bryan not to offer again, and I wish you may 
succeede — 

M^ Pettigrew joins me in respects to Mr B. and yourself and 
believe me your aff sister. 

Ann B Pettigrew. 

PS. I do not contemplate visiting Newbern this winter — therefore 
Mama's visit to me will be truly gratifying, do not permit her to 
give it over, she is so apt to decline such good resolutions after 
forming them — 

[Addressed] Mrs Mary W Bryan, 

. . NC. , • ■ 

John Swann Shepard to Ehenezer Pettigrew unc 

r ' Tallahassee [Florida] Septr. 15th 1828. 

My dear Sir, 

It has been so long since I wrote to you that I am allmost 
ashamed to acknowledge my negligence but I have been so much 
engaged in settling in the woods clearing land and s[c]ufleing for 
provisions that I really have had only time to think of my friends. I 
have often expressed as wish in my own breast that we could live 
near each other, but I fear our ideas are so different about 
happiness and prosperity that you will forever be an inhabitant of 
lake Phelps and I that of lake Jackson (the lake on which live) the 
advantages of this country over that which you reside in are 
incalculable. I mean not to say from superior fertility of soil. I 
believe our lands I mean the best we have are greatly inferior to 
those you possess but the productions of the country which are 
common to this latitude are so much more profitable to the 

100 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

cultivator than they are which you cultivate noth our lands grow 
here in the greatest possible perfection Sugar cane black seed and 
mexican cotton either of these crops when properly attended will 
yield to the field hand from 200$ to 250. each the cane I know 
nothing of its productiveness we are all gitting in seed and 
preparing to make sugar it is said by the cultivation in Louisiana 
of that article that it will make from 500 to 600$ per hand and 
molasses will pay all expenses we are too far south to make grain 
advantageously but I suppose our [illegible] lands when judiciouly 
managed may average 40 bushels to the acre a production 
sufficient to secure an abundance of provission without much 
labour we have a decided advantage over you in point of climate 
and a climate in my opinion will adapted to your constition one of 
the most even and agreeble temperature in the cold season rarely 
below 40° and in the summer here rarely higher than 85° our 
nights are allways cool and comfortable and the repose invigorat- 
ing and refreshing as it regards the health of the climate thus far 
no country can surpass it. I have been here since Mar. 1827. and 
have not heard of a single case of fever I contend the health must be 
unusual but those who have resided here for six years say disease 
is a stranger to their familys if it continues to be thus healthy I 
have no hesitation in asserting it will be five years hence the most 
desirable part of the Union the country is gently undulating and 
abounds with good free stone water I have growing the orange the 
pungranite the fig the tamerand and the prune which I have no 
doubt will all do well and in a year or too yield us an abundance of 
those fruits. I want nothing now but the scuppernong grape the 
seed you were good enough to send me did not prosper they all died 
but one and that I gave to a neighbor may I ask of the favour to 
send me a few more, and inform of the truth of what I understood if 
there is <one> any grape one seed which will produce the genuine 
white grape and the balance the varieties of the forest grape for 
agreeable life and p[lea]sure I want nothing but m[y] relations to 
be near me If I had them near or a portion of them I should never 
desire to remove from this favoured belt, cannot all I have said 
induce you to visit me and look at the country if you should 
determine to come here after looking at it a man of your energy and 
enterprise would in one year increse his estate in Value 25 per cent 
and then your prodution to the hand would be so much much 
grea[ter than] I fear it is now that you would never regret it our 
society [is] good and improving dialy many emigrants of the most 
respectable characters are coming in Tennesses takes all the 
blackgards and this country the gentlemen of moderate fortunes 
who desire independence and I wish to God I could number you and 
a fiew more of my friends with them I wrote to Fred some time ago 

The Pettigrew Papers 101 

and advised him to come here when will the enterprise of this 
family of ours be aroused why will those boys persist and trifling 
away their lives where they without any advantges to themselves 
or any person else Visit me this winter and Fred with you. My love 
to Nancy and all the little ones and beleve me to be your 
affectionate friend 

J S Shepard 
[Addressed] Ebenezer Pettigrew Esqr 
Lake Phelps 
Tyrrell county 
N. Carolina 

Thomas and William A. Turner to Ebenezer Pettigrew a&h 

Plymo NC Sep 23 1828 

Lake Phelps 

Mr Ebenezer Pettigrew 

Dear Sir — 

Yours of this month, is this day at hand with your two carts. — We 
send you two boxes, four bags, one saw, & five bars steel, being all 
the goods, except one Ream paper & a paper parcel, which we rec^ 
of the Schr John S Bryan Capt Pike, & VanBokelyn & Whites letter 
of Aug 30, for you — and the paper parcel and ream of paper, the 
writer understands you have already received. We find a Stove in 
our office, which was rec^ of the Jno S Bryan, at the time we 
received the above articles for you — but as it is not marked at 
all — where as your goods are marked with your name, and as it is 
not mentioned in the Bill of Lading with your goods, and has not 
been mentioned by you to us, we decline to send it, thinking 
perhaps it may belong to some one else. 

One of your negroes gave us a dollar & said you wished Jack 
Knives hot with it — We have hot & send you 6 jack Knives for it. 

The shoes have been returned to M^ Pender. We have bo* you 
another pair which is about V4 inch longer — but not narrower. The 
quality is 20 Cents cheaper — and this is the best we could do, 
having examined every store in Town — Price of this $1.60 — We 
send you a bottle of snuff, price 25 cents. 

Your letter contained one hundred and ninety dollars in North 
Carolina Bank notes, with a request that we purchase a Bill for 
about that sum, payable at sight or at a short sight & remit it to 
Messs Van <K> Bokelyn & White for your account. We have rec^ 
the money and will try to purchase the Bill & remit it as you direct. 

102 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

But are apprehensive one cannot be had for less than 5 or 6 P Cent. 
We shall enquire in several directions & shall do the best we can — 
and after all expect to send our own Bill on Charleston payable 
21 /24th October — We have /sales of/ corn due there at that time, 
the neat proceeds of which belong to Jesse Averett Esqr of Bertie 
who refused 5 P Cent for the Bill last week at Windser: But we think 
he had better have taken it. He has left us to dispose of it for him. 

We shall not charge you <a> Commission on the procuring of 
that vessel. We did this thing once and have been sorry for it ever 
since. Other merchants in Plymo at that time made those charges — 
& we did it — but have ever regretted it. 

Your goods have not been in our way. Our best respects 

Th. & W A Turner 
[Addressed] Ebenezer Pettegrew Esq 
Lake Phelps 

Ann Blount Pettigrew to Mary Williams Bryan a&h, bryan 

Lake Phelps, Oct. 20th, 1828— 

My Dear Sister, 

I have at length found liesure to write you, after having had a 
disposition to do so a long time, I regret that you always wait for me 
to answer your letters when you have so much more to communicate 
than I can possibly have. 

We have had a remarkably healthy family this summer and fall 
but within two weeks two of my children Mary & Johnston, have 
been very sick with the flux, which prevails in the neigbourhood at 
this time they are now much better, I am happy to inform you that 
James is quite well, but we are obliged to exercise the greatest care 
and as we believe a derangement of the bowels was the cause of the 
disease, we frequently give him catharticks. We have not yet 
procured another Teacher and I am obliged to bestow some 
attention on the children, but I find the duties of housekeeping 
nursing and teaching are not compatable therefore one of them 
must be neglected, which is the school, the others being indispens- 
able, my time is always usefully employed as I am seldom 
interrupted by company — which would be very agreeable I assure 
you sometimes — I devote my Sabbaths to reading the Commentary 
purchased from Mr Carle, when you were here, it is a very 
entertaining and instructing work, there are many digressions 
from the subject or it would be rather monotonous — D^ Warren is 
quite a literary gentleman and occasionally lends me a late novel, 
he is still a great politician a violent Adamite and as such he 

The Pettigrew Papers 103 

stands almost alone in this county as I do not think much on this 
subject I have little to write. 

The Lake looks rather gloomy at this time the faded foliage of the 
trees and dying vegetation, forms a melancholly contrast with the 
green corn and waving wheat with which our fields are generally 
ornamented with, the low prices of grain keep the farmers depressed 
in spirits and purse, but my husbands /Spirits/ is better than 
common. /He says his purse is low/ 

There has been a great rain in this country, M^ Pettigrew was 
affraid it /would/ destroy his opperations on the Creek he is 
clearing out, you recollect a trip we made in a small skiff down the 
Creek, he says it is much improved by the work performed, M^^ 
Pettigrew estimates the labour at 2000 $ — 

Mr Collins has been on the Lake greater part of this year without 
his family, they have not yet returned from their Northern visit, he 
seems to enjoy the loneliness of this place — such is the effect of age, 
he is very unlike his family — they are gay and fond of the world, I 
suppose next year his son will take poss<s>esion, they have 
increased the number of slaves and houses and find their overseers 
so faithless that they must give their personal attention, the only 
alternative for Farmers, the education of the son will cause him to 
pass many a wretched hour, it will be very unlike New York, the 
Opera and amusements of various kinds which that great city 

I suppose you are now preparing for your trip to Washington, you 
will be unwilling to see M'' Bryan set out without you — this will be 
an interesting session — the Presidential contest excites great 
commotion in all quarters I believe, the strength of the candidates 
was tested at Tyrrel Court house the other day, and General 
[Andrew] Jackson prevaild by a great majority, Mr Pettigrew was 
not there, he takes very little interest in it, for which I give him 
credit — 

Do persuade Mama to spend the winter with me — 

Aunt Pettigrew is quite well, she is a miricle of health and age — 

Mr Pettigrew joins me in respects to M^^ Bryan & yourself— kiss 
the children and believe me your aff, Sister, 

Ann B Pettigrew. 
[Addressed] Mrs Mary W. Bryan, 
No Carolina. 

104 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

[Dr.] Thomas Old to Ehenezer Pettigrew UNC 

Murfreesboro. N.C. Nov. 17th i828 

Dear Sir, 

I have been waiting to reply to your last favour in order to 
ascertain whether I sh^ effect the change I contemplated in my 
profession & pursuits, <before> that I might apprize you of it. 
Some time during the last month I visited P. Anne [Princess Anne 
County, Virginia] to examine a Farm that was for sale belonging 
to George Newton. While negotiating for its' purchase, the Dwelling 
House (the chief desideratum with me) was consumed by fire. Since 
then I have leased a Farm lying on one of the Branches of the 
Elizabeth River and within 9 miles of Norfolk & 1 of Kempsville — I 
shall remove there at the expiration of the present year — Medicine 
I expect to abandon entirely — To this resolution I am brought by a 
variety of considerations — Among the chief I may name the state 
of my health which is such as to incapacitate me <from> for 
exposure at night and in bad weather — moreover there is too little 
/profit/ attached to it, to form an adequate compensation — I am 
fully aware of the difficulties I shall meet in my new avocation and 
shall not be surprized if I become altogether disgusted with it. But I 
think the reasons growing out of the nature of circumstances, 
preponderate on the other side — My advantages as a Farmer will 
be great — But on one subject I anticipate much trouble— I mean the 
management of slaves — Here I am conscious of a great deficiency 
both in moral & physical energy a quality that is I imagine 

Believing that you know more of this subject than / than any 
other person I have met with, I shall be under great obligations to 
you, if you will give me a few aphorisms or directions on this as well 
as Farming in general — All that I know of Agriculture which is 
very little, I think I gleaned from you when I formerly had the 
pleasure of visiting your House — I shall confidently expect you to 
bring M''^ Pettigrew & your children to see us when we get fixed in 
our new home — 

I shd have told you when asking rules for the controul of negroes, 
that they are intended for a set that have been hired out for the last 
10 /15/ years and contain some very grand scoundrels — so I 
guess — I think of trying the culture of cotton for the sale crop — The 
Farmers here say, it is the only article on which they can make any 
thing — of the truth of this I have my doubts — so I shall but try the 
experiment — 

The only news I can give, is on the Presidential Election, which 
absorbs the attention of all here — In this County we gave the 
General more than two to one & there is I fear no doubt but he will 
get the vote of this state & V^ In N. York by the latest advices the 

The Pettigrew Papers 105 

vote is equally divided 18 — 18 — Kentucky & Ohio doubtful — and 
Mr [John Quincy] Adams chance equally so — many of my side 
have given up for lost I can hardly do it yet, but I fear one week 
more will compel me to do so. 

Pray what has become of my friend D^* Warren — It has been a 
long time since I heard from him, tho I think he is in debt to me, one 
letter — I have been expecting to see him & M^s Warren during the 
present month, on their way to Richmond — How does the Squire, 
Haughton get along? as busy and as much from home as ever, I 

If I /can/ get you to P. Anne once, I have some hopes of inducing 
you to purchase a place, there as a summer residence for your 
family. I know a small Farm for sale which can be purchased for 
very little, that has on it one of the han/d/somest sites for a 
dwelling House that I ever saw any where — It is unimproved, but 
tha[t] wod but afford you an opportunity of indulging your 
constructive faculti[es] The former proprietor (Williamson of 
Norfolk) a man [of] considerable taste had prepared a large 
quantity of Bricks to build the House, which are now lying on the 
spot uninjured. In front you have the Lynhaven River running in a 
straight line from the Bay for % mile and its Branches on each 
side — you have just enough of the Bay to see vessels passing — It is 
decidedly the most beautiful place I ever saw — in the low country I 
may add — At all events come let me shew it you — You will then 
decide — 

Please present my respects and those of M^s O to M^s Pettigrew 
and assure her of the great pleasure M^'s O will derive from her 
acquaintance, and visit if we may be permitted to indulge in the 
anticipation of its being realized — 

Very truly yr friend 
Th: Old 

[Addressed] M^ Ebenezer Pettigrew 
Cool Spring Post Office 
Washington County 
N. Car. 

[Dr.] William C. Warren to Ebenezer Pettigrew unc 

Norfolk 24th Nov. 1828 

My Dear Sir 

I arrived in this place last night in one of the James River St"^ 
Bts: to day the first task I impose on myself, is to report to you some 
account <o:D> our journey from Tyrrell &c. 

106 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

We got to the Ferry the day we left home pretty early in the 
afternoon, but owing to the contrary wind we were compelled to 
spend the night with M'' Downing, where we were entertained in 
very plain style; tuesday we got to Edenton about 12 Oclk and put 
up at M'="s Wills' — where we were detained all day by the indolence 
of a Blacksmith, who had to shoe one of my horses. I send the horse 
to the shop as soon as I got to town, and the sun was almost down 
before the shoes were put on — Wednesday we traveled 30 miles 
without much inconvenience to M^^ Warren or our little boy — 
Thursday we went to Suffolk 23 miles, to dinner & set out from 
there at 3 P.M. to reach a tavern 10 miles distant; we got to the 
house about sun set & much to my mortification found there was no 
entertainment to be had there; the man said he only had tavern 
License that he might sell spirits by small measure — Thus dis- 
appointed there was no alternative but to proceed to Smithfield 12 
miles farther — it was very cold and we soon overtaken by night 
after traveling some time we came to a mill and not knowing 
whether the road passed over the dam which was immediately 
before us, I sent Phil to a negro cabin to enquire; he returned & said 
we must go straight forward I took the reins from him & drove over 
the dam, which I found so narrow that the carriage was in the most 
imminent danger of upsetting, indeed the danger was so great we 
had to get down & lead the horses & then with difficulty, got 
over — when we got to the other side I found we were at the end of 
the road. I stopped the horses & went back to the negro house, 
where I learnd we ought to have gone below the mill. Two negroes 
volunteered to put us right, which they accomplished by leading 
the horses about a quarter of a mile through the woods along a cart 
way. We reached Smithfield at 8. cold & frightened though very 
thankful we escaped so well. On relating our adventure to the 
Tavern Keeper he really appeared alarmed — he said the dam was 
just made & that two days before a cart could not pass over — he 
said the water was deep on one side & the other not less than 15 feet 
high, as perpendicular as earth could be piled. Friday it rain^ & we 
remained where we were Saturday we rode 35 M^s &; Sunday got to 
Chas City about 3 oclk all safe. We had the pleasure of meeting my 
Mother at D^" Willcoxs & finding all of my friends in good health. 
The inclemency of the weather has not permited us to visit much, 
as yet we have only been D^" Willcox's & D^^ Christians as soon as I 
return to Cha^ City, which will be in a few days, <I> we shall 
proceed to Bedford & after remaining two weeks with M^^s 
Alexander, we shall return to Carolina — 

I have had the pleasure to day of receiving your favor for which I 
must tender my thanks as I know you have a great aversion to 
writing. I shall certain[ly] [torn] to your requests. The cloth for M^^ 

The Pettigrew Papers 107 

Woodley & the Lins[ey] will be forwarded immediately to Wright & 
Wilhams. E City. 

As soon as I got to Cha^ City I began to look around for your 
teacher and I have the satisfaction to inform you I have contracted 
with a young man I suppose every way qualified — he teaches 
English Latin, Greek & French and speaks the French. The young 
Gentleman's name is Vaiden, he was raised in my neighborhood & 
is at present employed as a teacher in M^" Tyler's family — he will 
not be in Carolina before the 20th of Jany. I have written in great 
haste & fear you will not be able to read what I have said — Harriet 
desired me to send her warmest respects to yourself & M^^s 
Pettigrew — You will both accept mine & 

Believe me most sincerely & affectionately 

your Friend 
W. C. Warren 
[Addressed] M^ E. Pettigrew 
Cool Spring 
Washington Cty 
North Carolina 

[Dr.] William C. Warren to Ehenezer Pettigrew a&h 
New London [Virginia] Dec^ 12th i828 

My Dear Sir, 

I promised in my last to write you on my arrival at this place. 
After remaining a few days in Norfolk I returned to Chas City, 
where I spent a few days more & proceeded to Richmond, there I 
passed two nights and a day, which made Dec^^ 4th when we 
commenced our western pilgrimage. The first day we set out at 10 
Oclk, and traveled 22 miles by hard driving, the sixth day we 
reached this place almost exhausted with fatiegue. The road from 
Richmd is a bed of clay and is hilly the whole distance — in many 
places it is hardly passable, the heavy laden western waggons 
have cut it up & the droves of hogs have made good mortar of the 

We have all recovered from the exhaustion of the journey and 
begin to feel the renovating influence of the mountain air — 
Edward has improved very much indeed he has not required a 
grain of medicine since we left home. M^s Alexander & family are 
in fine health How the Farmers in this Section make out to live, I 
cant imagine, and still most of them live in fine houses & have a 
good deal of property, the Land is barren, rocky & hilly, of course 
difficult to cultivate, and what produce they raise to sell, attended 

108 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

with great expense in sending it to market Tobacco has been the 
principal staple, here, but the present low price of it does not justify 
its cultivation — Hemp is not raised in this neighborhood, but I 
have conversed with several gentlemen, familiar with its cultiva- 
tion, and they expect your land is particularly adapted to it. I 
calculate on receiving all the necessary information, from D^ 
Massie of Nelson; a wealthy gentleman who has a crop of hemp 
this year — 

Since I left Richm^ I have seen thousands of western hogs 
yesterday & to day five thousand passed this road, what is very 
remarkable, most of the Farmers here, have to purchase pork, 
though the present low price of it, makes it as cheap as herrings. 
The Drovers are glad to sell at $3.50 — Corn here is $2. cash — I hope 
you disposed of your wheat when the price was so high; it sold at 
one time as high as $2 in Richm^ & Flour at $10. lately it has 
declined & at this time only brings 7 — 

I was much mortified at the result of the Presidential election in 
N. Carolina. I never though for a moment that Adams would 
receive the vote of the State but I had no conception Jackson's 
majority would be so large. ^ Tyrrell gave a most shameful vote^ 
and I am highly pleased that I was not present to witness the 
exultation of the Heroites. I suspect you were gratified with M^^ 
[James] Iredell's success in the Senatorial Election though I think 
he must have been chagrined, by the number of scattering votes — 

I feel very impatient to return to Carolina, but I cannot say when 
I shall get there. We shall remain with M^^s Alexander ten days 
longer and shall then set out on our return via Richmond, we shall 
only remain a few days in Chas City & N Kent and probably by the 
10th of Jany shall land in Tyrrell — our horses have performed 
admirably. Shepard is a fine draft horse & has improved on 
traveling — 

Harriet writes with me in kind regards to M^^ Pettigrew & 
yourself, she is perfectly happy only when she thinks of the 
Swamps — She however has no thought of suffering me to return 
without her — 

I remain My Dear Sir your most Sincere friend 

W. C. Warren 

PS Excuse my illegible writing there is so much confusion I have 
lost my senses 

N London Va 
14 Deer 1828 

[Addressed] M^ E. Pettigrew 
Cool Spring 
Washington County 
North Carolina 

The Pettigrew Papers 109 

' In the presidential election of 1828 Andrew Jackson received 37,857 votes in 
North Carolina, while John Quincy Adams received 13,918 votes. Cheney, 
North Carolina Government, 1329. 

^Tyrrell County gave 273 votes to Jackson and twenty votes to Adams. 
Cheney, North Carolina Government, 1329. 

Thomas and William A. Turner to Ehenezer Pettigrew UNC 

Plymo: NC Dec 12 1828 

Dear Sir. 

Yours of the 2^ is before us. The writer has been absent and is but 
2 or 3 days returned — 

Corn — the price is not settled. It rules @ 1 .75 to $2. No sales @ $2. 
Sales @ 1.75 on the other side of the sound. M^ Jas D Marburn of 
Norfolk says in his letter Nov 29, that he does not think it safe to 
give more than 40 cents per bushel for corn in that market. 

If the price in Liverpool be 81 cents the duty is 30. At 90 cents the 
duty is 20. At 100 cents the duty is 2 cents. This is as near as may 
be to exclude fractions. You can calculate the charges to Liverpool 
as easily as we — to these add the duty, and you will see the price it 
must bear in that port to justify our shipping to England. Observe 
that altho the Crops are short in Europe, they will import no corn 
except in England. Observe that as soon as the price reaches 100 
cents per bushel in Liverpool the duty is off to 2 cents. We may 
therefore conclude the price there will not go over 100 cents — and 
thus we may say with some confidence that the price with us will 
scarcely go higher than 2$ if so high: For there is no demand in the 
United States equal to raising or keeping up the price of Corn. 
Observe also that underwriters insure only that the quantity shall 
arrive-that they take no risk as to quality. If you ship Rum — they 
will underwrite on the quantity; but not that it will arrive 3^ or 4th 
proof. And so of Corn, and other goods. Therefore the shipper of 
Corn must risk something; /He must risk the damage, not the 
loss./ The charges of your Corn may therefore be thus stated, 
supposing you to determine upon sending it to England — 

Freight to New York- 
Storage in New York 
measuring, & storing 
Commissions for shipping 
Freight to Liverpool 
Storage in do — if not sold afloat 
measuring & landing 
Commissions on sale — 
Insurance to New York 
Do to Liverpool 

no N.C. Division of Archives and History 

Risk on quality to New York 
Risk on Do. to Liverpool 
Duty in Liverpool — 

The demand in England for flour is such as to ship all that we 
shall make in the United States — This scarcity of flour will tend to 
increase our consumption of Corn — 

We are purchasers of Corn & offer you $L75 per bbl — payable on 
delivery. Delivery to suit us — as soon as we may be able to ship it. 
Place of delivery on board of a vessel at your Canal. 

We thus give you all the information we have. Perhaps we may 
be incorrect in some points. If so, we dont know it. Yours truly 

Th & W A Turner 
[Addressed] Ebenezer Pettigrew Esq 
Cool Spring 
Washington County 

Ebenezer Pettigrew to John Herritage Bryan UNC 

Bonarva on Lake Phelps Dec 17, 1828 

My dear Sir, 

I observe you were not present at the opening of Congress 
howeve I suppose before this you /have/ resumed your seat. 

Although we need and I immagine no state in the Union has sent 
a more miserable representation to Congress, I yet confess I do no 
regret to learn in your last letter that you have an idea of declining 
a reelection to that body. A continuance in it will most certainly 
injure very much your pecuniary affairs as well as deprive you of 
that greatest of pleasures, the society of ones family. Whether your 
mind will rest in a state of reti[re]ment is known but to yourself. I 
think you would be very restless at Lake Phelps before half the 
winter was gone. We should be much pleased after you retire into 
private life if you with M^^ B. would try it for a while. 

You express great hopes that the Legislature will do something 
liberal for Newbern in the way of a railroad. If you wish much done 
in that way, I would advise you to change your seat, for one in that 
body, and perhaps something may be done in the process by it, 
according to your wishes. Newbern has certainly at this time an 
able representative of her interest, but if I am not mistaken he is 
not popular, and can /do/ very little with all his eloquence & 
powers of reasoning.^ I am justified in saying the case would be 
very different with you. But at best the internal improvements of 
North Carolina, so far as I have heard & read would be a disgrace 
to any civilized people. The plans may be good but I am certain the 
execution betrays great imbicility. We have great numbers of men 

The Pettigrew Papers 111 

who are full of plans, such as no one can execute, if we had the 
energy & industry necessary. I fear your rail road will be like most 
other of our great projects. The great men of that section interested 
meet, organise then retire. One who can make the best speach rises 
& tells the gaping multitude that which they are all agreed on, the 
utility of such a work, they then pass a number resolutions towards 
it execution, the meeting is then dissoved & the next to be done is to 
have an act of Legislature, and after that go to work, a thing no one 
is willing to, and if by chance they should commence opperations, 
there is probably appointed some weak, ignorant or visionary 
being, at its head, and the funds of the undertaking are exhausted 
& nothing like the expenditures in return. I am perfectly certain 
that the great cause of all our failures has has arisen from the 
inefficiency in one way or other of /an/ head man. What has made 
nations great at different periods but their leading characters? 
What has made armies perform wonders but their Generals? When 
imbacility and ignorence governs the physical energies of a people 
they cannot be exerted to any profitable extent. It is the height of 
folly to employ men on great undertakings when large sums of 
money are at stake without practical knowledge. 

I should not be in the least surprised if the Legislature in dispair 
should dissolve the board and do away the internal improvment 
system entirely, for generally speaking it is little else than a foolish 
waste of money. 

We received a letter the other day from John Shepard, he is very 
desirous for us to move to Florida, but M^^ P. says there are too 
many Aligators & rattlesnakes in that country and we will stay in 
the unenterprising state of N. Carolina th[ough] I very much regret 
to stay among such a set of imbeciles. 

The 22i^d of this month three years ago was the date of the first 
paper I received from the office of the National Journal. I am 
desirous to discontinue it. Will you be so good as to pay up for the 
two last years which is due & stop it, and subscribe for me to the 
National Inteligencer. Inclosed is fifteen dollars for the above 
purposes. I do not recollect the amount of a years subscription to 
the latter paper but if it should be more than $5 please to advance 
the remainder and I will transmit is in the next letter. 

To save myself the trouble of making a will yearly I have made 
such a one a will answer for few or many children. I was the other 
day within a hairs breadth of puting it to the test by the fall of a 
tree. Nothing saved me but cool thought at the time & prompt 
determination as the tree was falling. M^^ P. & children are 
tolerable well she sends her respects to you — Please to assure 
yourself of my Esteem & regard 

E Pettigrew 

112 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

P.S. Please excuse this miserable scrawl for I have not time to write 
Do not believe that I am averse to internal improvement, by what I 
say It is worthlessness I am opposed to, but a great friend of any 
sort of improvment. 

[Addressed] Hon. John H. Bryan 
Washington City 

'This is probably a reference to William Gaston, who was serving as the town 
representative for New Bern in the House of Commons. Cheney, North 
Carolina Government, 292. 

Ebenezer Pettigrew to James Cathcart Johnston unc 

Bonarva on Lake Phelps Jan 13, 1829 

My dear Sir, 

With great pleasure I received your favour's of Nov 17, & Dec 28 
& in like manner I received your congratulations on the approach 
of a new year. That it may be a more agreeable one to you than you 
say the /last/ has been is my sincere wish. I have begun it with 
unusual vigor how I am to hold out is uncertain. My mind never 
tires at business and my body has been at no time more vigorous, 
though I have had within the last ten days some symptoms of gout 
in my extremities and I strongly suspect in my stomach; at any 
rate the pain which I have had there is an unusual one. If my 
suggestion is correct I suppose I shall be some day stoped in my 
earthly carear in short order, and I will try and loos as little time as 
possible untill it does happen. I am now very busily engaged geting 
the timber for a vessil of about 60 tons, which I am about to build, in 
partnership with a Capt. Dunbar, we expect to get her ready for the 
next wheat crop. I have full confidence in my partner the Captain, 
as an honest, active, industrious man. It not being a material 
matter with M^' D. Clark, ^ whether his mill is improved now or 
some time hence and M^" Woodley being rather pressed for time, he 
has declined it for more leasure. M^ Woodley can be employed in 
your work after about the middle of June. I think him fully 
competent to any thing you may want done, neither do I think he 
will clog the work with any visionary speculations. His general 
ideas /& managment/ are very superior and I consider myself 
indebted to him for some of my most valuable plans. Nothing 
would give me more pleasure than to receive a visit from you. We 
could then talk over the subject of your mill, but if you cannot give 
me that pleasure and you think I can make any usefull suggestions 
in the work, I will meet you on any given day at any place in this or 

The Pettigrew Papers 113 

the next month, health permiting and we will go to the seat, where 
we will talk more to the purpose; Provided no one knows what I am 
about. It is of importance that the timber for it should be got before 
the spring, that it may season. 

I accept with pleasure your congratulations on my good crop & 
the prospect of a sale; I hope you will be alike benefited by that 
event. Though I have at this time not an hour to spare from 
business I have commenced in Doctor Warren absence the practice 
of medicine I have been called to & have visited a very sick child 
eight miles in the country twice last week. Some of our children 
have been sick but through the assistance of providence they have 
recovered. M^s Pettigrew as well as myself are very much gratified 
at the alteration made in our society on / on the Lake. It is a great 
affair to have in your neighborhood well bred persons who stand 
on honour & character. That we shall get along in peace there can 
be no doubt. Our interests cannot clash in any shape, and if I know 
my own heart, I feel a very strong disposition that the place should 
thrive, but the young gentlemans habits of society, and his 
associates being of the first circle in the nation, forbid that I could 
be company for him long at a time or very often. In truth their stay 
in this out of the way place cannot be to enjoy the society of any 
one. The reason must be obvious. I hope no one has been taught his 
station & knows it better than I do. 

The most of the money you were so obliging as to loan me I have 
converted to the paying debts, which my bad crops have caused 
Yn[torn] tract, purchasing mares to raise mules, and the remainder 
[torn] in building this vessil. I have yet a wish to increase my 
negroes and shall be glad to receive the money you may collect to 
the amount we have talked. I have on hand about 600 bus. wheat 
and 3000 bus corn. I have sown about 100 acres in wheat, my 
various ditching opperations made me rather too late in seeding 
some of it, yet I have confidence in the land, it will no doubt 
command a good price next summer. M^s Pettigrew joins me in best 
respects to your sisters. Hoping shortly to see you here or else 
where, I remain your sincere friend 

E Pettigrew 

James C. Johnston Esqr. 

[Addressed] James C Johnston Esqr 
Hayes, Edenton P.O. 

^Possibly this refers to the merchant David Clark. Keith and others, Blount 
Papers, IV, 22n, 75. See also the following letter. 

114 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

James Cathcart Johnston to Ebenezer Pettigrew"^ UNC 

Hayes. 17th Febry. 1829.— 

My Dear Sir 

I have delayed writing in answer to your's of IS^h of last month 
hoping to be able to appoint a day when we could meet <at> but my 
arrangements have been so much deranged by bad weather & 
other cause beyond my controul that I /now/ find <now> that it 
will not be practicable and I <cannot> could not think of calling 
you from home at this inclement season & when you have such full 
imployment for your time on an uncertainty. I have at length 
succeed^ in collect the money due from Cox tho' at the risk of my 
life which is /now/ threatened for <fifteen> eighteen months 
indulgence. I care very little for his threats which like his promises 
will [no^] be full filled. — I now enclose you bills on Messrs Rob^ 
Lenox & Son the amt of I [sho]uld have paid you the money could I 
have seen you but have adopted this course as the mos^ safe & 
convenient and the bills can be converted into cash at par or 
perhaps at a small premium by sending them to M^ J. S. Bryan at 
Plymouth or to the Bank at this place /with/ one of which I should 
have had to deposit the money for you so that you will have no 
more trouble in getting it. — I thot farther that /if/ you <might> 
/should/ want to purchase negroes in Virginia that currency /or 
United States money/ might be more ready got for the Bill than it 
could be had for N. Carolina notes. — I hope the arrangement will 
please you. — The note you will please sign and enclose /it/ in a 
letter and put /it/ into M'' Collins hands to be held until I see him. I 
am this particular because there is no safety in our Post Office. — 

I am more anxious to see you now than ever and wish very much 
I could have done so before you commenced your vessel building. — 
It may be <may> very officious in /me/ to obtrude my advice on 
one who never acts without well considering what he is going to do 
who always looks before he leaps and who always get successfully 
thro' his undertakings I am generally willing to take advice but 
much more apt to give. — I should have advised you most strenously 
to have nothing to do with vessels or vessel building the latter 
cannot <be> /end/ profitable to you, the holding & running them 
<is> /would be/ still more so. There are several objections to 
/farmers/ owning vessels first they are a kind of property <that> 
over which you can have little or no controul you must rely on your 
Capt the wind & weather the capt you now have may be a very good 
man and to be relied upon — but the human character is extremely 
changable and these vi<ss>cissitudes are so frequent <that> & 
have astonished me so much of late years that I begin to think that 
a man ought never to <put him> rely on others further than is 
absolutely necessary and atho' your capt may be a very good man 

The Pettigrew Papers 115 

and may continue so, yet he may die and how will you supply his 
place a good & capable is not so easily found now a days. — Your 
vessel cant stop until you find one — you are oblige to take up with 
such as you can get a fellow who perhap by one act of bad conduct 
will rid you of all further trouble with vessels. — Again with the 
very best management by merchants who devote their time and 
attention to /them/ they are expensive & unprofitable, a friend of 
my Mr /D/ Clark who made a large fortune in trade has told me 
that he never made a cent by /owing/ vessels, his Brother /W^/ 
sunk six or seven thousand dollars by building & sailing them 
before he would be convinced of the correctness of his brother 
opinion — If these merchants of the best management can make 
nothing [how] is a farmer whose time is take up with /his/ farm to 
make a profit by vessels. — A farmer who spreads his bread on the 
land may after many days gather it to gather again but when he 
scatters it on the water I fear he will not again find it all. — again 
you will be drawing from & crippling a fund which you have 
appropriated to a great & important object and which it is of the 
utmost importance that you should effec/t/ as soon as possible the 
draining of your Savannah Lands. — I know well the motive that 
prompts you to build it is the inconvenience of getting your produce 
to market, I have felt the inconvenience myself but never tho* of 
owing a vessel a river or canal boat was the summit of my 
ambition, now Sir let me tell you my plan for remedying the 
inconvenience which we both labour under — I have given orders to 
my overseer in Pasquotank to get timber & materials to build a 
canal boat which will not cost me much and with which I can with 
my own negroes and at no expence except the toll carry my produce 
thro' to Norfolk where if does not sell at a fair price it can be shipt a 
very reduced freight to any other market forgein or domestic. I 
think norfolk will become a great grain & Lumber market and if it 
does not the facility of shipping from there to any other is so great 
that I would much prefer sending my produce there /with my own 
people/ and shipping it than be subject to the uncertainty & delays 
of our navigation. — with a boat of kind I think you might count 
with certainty of having a crop of grain in New York in four or five 
days whereas by Occacocke it might be a month. — for your lumber 
Norfolk would be a great market. — /& I have a friend there who 
would do us both ample justice/ but I /may/ have said to much 
against your project & too much in favor of my own. — I have been 
trying to dismount you from your hobby to mount you on mine. — I 
may be wrong, but /mine/ is a dull & gentle sort of a beast & so low 
that if I get a fall <it wil> it wont hurt much I hold the rain in my 
own hands & do not trust to coachmen Hayden the Blacksmith 
whom I engaged to mak a doz & half of axes for you has been 
obliged return to the north in consequence of bad health he 

116 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

regreted very much not being able to execute your order before he 
left, but has taken it on with him & says if he gets well enough it 
shall be done & the axes sent to his agent at Elizabeth. — My dear 
friend if you can honorably get off from this vessel engagement 
even at some pecuniary loss I would advise you to do it will be a 
source of vexation & trouble to you & no profit. — 

Edenton. 17th Febry. 1829. 

Exchange $2500 

Ninety days after date of this my first of exchange second of this 
tenor & date unpaid pay to Ebenezer Pettigrew Esq^" or his order 
two thousand five hundred dollars value rec^ & charge the same to 
acct of y^ most Obd* Sv* — 

Ja. CJ 

Messs Robert Lenox & Son 
New York 

<I promise [One] day after date> /with Interest from 17th of Feby/ 
I promise to pay James C. Johnston Guardian of Joseph Blount^ or 
his order two thousand five hundred dollars value rec^ Witness my 
hand & seal this 17th day of Febry. 1829.— 


^Possibly this refers to a son of Joseph Blount of Windsor. 

Ebenezer Pettigrew to James Cathcart Johnston UNC 
Bonarva on Lake Phelps March 30, '29 

My dear Sir, 

I have at length succeeded in geting the Clapboards & also have 
had the uncommon good luck to get a vessil to take them on board 
for you the very day after they are ready. They will be deliver to you 
by my partner in the vessel, Capt. John Dunbar, who goes to 
Edenton in his former small vessil, under the customhouse arraing- 
ments. Expecting that you may probably be from home, I have 
agreed to settle the freight of the boards with him. I hope you will 
find /them/ good. So far as I have seen them, I think them 
uncommonly fine. I expect they are in number about 2500, which 
will be about the quantity wanted. 

I addressed a letter to you about a fortnight ago by M^* Collins in 
answer to yours of 17th Feb. inclosing my note to you for $2500 
which I presume you have received. In that answer I made some 

The Pettigrew Papers 117 

reply to your kind & friendly advise on the subject of vessil 
building, all which I received with the pleasing knowledge of its 
coming from my best friend. Had I received it in time it should 
unquestionably have had its due weight, but my partner the 
Captain had then gone to Beaufort, for carpenters, and the most of 
the materials were in the yard, consequently there was no backing 
or turning. The Keel is laid, the stern, sternpost & frames are up, 
the spars are got & so far we are going on well. I am pleassed with 
the master workman and the other hands hired from Beaufort 
seven in number appear to be good. I feel highly flattered by your 
remark, that I look before I leap, that I allways consider well what I 
am going to do and farther that I always get through successfully, 
all my undertakings. Whether I succeed from good luck or from 
other causes I leave the /world/ judge. I well know that by patience 
& persevierance almost anything can be done. I can assure you 
that the most unremiting exertion will be used in this case. I have 
this consolation, which is a great stimulous in undertakings at the 
advanced stage of my experience, that I have never regreted or had 
cause to regret any thing of magnitude which I have undertaken to 
do. I have found my works to answer my fullest expectations and 
what is still important in the extreme to my pecuniary circum- 
stances, they have been profitable so far as could be tested. I have 
never borrowed money without its being useful to my interest, and 
I have a strong hope that in four years, when I shall be fifty years 
old which is the time I have laid out to quit work, that I shall be 
clear /of/ the world and have a snug interest for my family, when I 
shall be no more in this vale of tears. When I look at the margin of 
the Lake, my opperations on the Creek, my canal and the buildings 
& machinery on it, which are four great works for a man of my 
resourses, and when I think how dependant I was before these 
things were done I cannot but thank God that he gave me the 
power & rejoice that I have had the will to engage in them. 
However I must bear in mind that the Pitcher cannot go to the 
fountain so often but it may be broken, and that I may be stranded 
at last. Under this knowledge I hope I shall never presume too 
much on my former success or my energy. I very much approve of 
your plan as respects the canal boat & the Norfolk trade, but you 
have an advantage over me in that respect. Some of your planta- 
tions are on & others are convenient to the river which the canal 
connects with Norfolk and other of your plantations [torn] great 
rout which will command steam boat conveyance, while I live out 
of the way and cannot yet command any of those conveniences. 
Have you ever seen the months of Feb. & March more inhospitable 
or vegitation more backward. My wheat crop looks tolerable 
considering circumstances; the fear of frost cannot be entertained 
and having confidence in the land, I flatter myself with a good 

118 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

crop. With the quantity of rain and my ditches runing into the 
Savanna & thereby conveying the water from it into my canal, I 
have been but above water. The Lake is now at a good sawing point 
and I am taking the advantage of it by loosing no time with the 
mill. We have all suffered with bad colds & several violent attacks 
of croup but we are now all well except poor James who is again 
visited as violent as ever with St vitas dance. Please to give our 
respects to your Sisters and assure yourself of my sincere Esteem & 

E Pettigrew 

James C. Johnston Esqr. 

[Addressed] James C Johnston Esqr 
near Edenton 

James Cathcart Johnston to Ehenezer Pettigrew"^ UNC 

Hayes. 1st April. 1829.— 

My Dear Sir 

Capt Dunbar has just now handed me your letter <of the 30th> 
and is now delivering the boards for which I am extremely obliged 
to you, they came unexpected for the slight hint I gave you that I 
wanted them had past from my <mind recolle> memory tho' it 
appears to have remained on yours, an eviden/ce/ not only of your 
disposition to serve me but of your efficience & promptitude in 
action. <Many person> /Some persons/ are very much disposed to 
serve their friend, if it they could do so without exertion /or/ 
inconvenience and a great many are not capable of exertion even 
to assist themselves but lean upon any thing that will support 
them for the moment so on from day to day until at last they are left 
prostrate without property without friends & alas too often without 
character — this is <generally> /always/ the fate of men without 
energy, and self dependence. I have a great talent for moralizing 
that a few cypress boards should excite it. — I am sorry that I said 
so much about the vessel not because you <have not abandond> 
/persevere/ but because I now think that I was half wrong & that 
you are half right and it is much better to be half right than half 
wrong — I know you will attribute what I said to the true motive & 
no other, — the warm interest I feel in your welfare & concerns. You 
might with great justice have retaliated on me for preparing to 
build a mill. — a cursed sort of property. — but what is a man to do 
when he cant get a hoe cake much less a biscuit to eat. — In July 

The Pettigrew Papers 119 

August Sep<^ & Octi^ last I had to send constantly twenty miles to get 
bread for near two hundred mouths. — I calculate on M^ Woodley to 
do my work on Roanoke Relying on your recommendation and 
have deferred commencing <oper> active operations until the 1st 
of July /in the mean time/ the timber will be all got ready for 
immediate use I have already during the winter gotten 200 cypress 
stocks 175 oak Do ash & elm hickory & dog wood for the running 
gear & any castings I may want can be readyly got from 
Petersburg. — you will by that time have finished your vessel shipt 
your wheat & laid by your corn and I hope I shall have the pleasure 
of your company & advice /on the spot/ on which last I think you 
are in my debt and you shall have a far opportunity of paying in 
full. — And I shall have the mortification of Shewing /you/ a 
plantation just the reverse of your snug & neat farm. — large & 
extinsive but ragged & tattered in some places bare to the skin and 
almost to the bone, looking very muc[h] like those splendid old 
mansions in Virginia with pillo[w]s, red flannel petticoats & old 
hats for dead lights in the windows — but I /am/ just about striping 
off all the old rags and putting on a new suit & I hope in a year or 
two to make it look as spruce & clean as our negroes do at 
Christmas when they have on their new clothes. I am just or / 
organizing a corp of internal improvement of about 30 prime 
hands to be under my own <com> immediate command to have 
nothing to do with the crop but to be employed entirely in 
improving I shall make it a kind of legion of honor. — but woe! I am 
galloping my hobby too hard, for your comfort. — Can't you make it 
convenient to slip over here one or two days <during> next week. — 
I should be very glad to see you & there is to be great sales of 
property but I doubt no bargains — the same negroes you saw sold 
this tim[e] last year will again occupy the same place in the court 
yard. — I knew /it/ then just as well as I know it now I will not 
/now/ be the cause of your leaving your business with the 
expectation of buying as [torn] but should be much pleased to see 
you particularly as I <know not when I shall ha> <shall not be> 
/<can not>/ shall not be able to <see you> /do so/ before July if 
not now. — It would perhaps be well to come over & see how things 
go perhaps it may not be time thrown away. — I send you a <bull> 
calf of an excellent breed he is not as likely as he ought to be for my 
overseer has not attended to him so much as the severity of the 
season required but with a little nursing he will be a fine animal, — 

most sincerely your friend 
Ja. C. Johnston. 

120 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

Charles Biddle Shepard to Ebenezer Pettigrew a&h 

New Bern NC May 30th i829 

My dear Sir, 

If those only, who are able to write interesting letters, were 
allowed to handle their pens, the post-office-revenue would be a 
meager one & I, among thousands of others, would be doomed to 
Keep my thoughts to myself. But thanks to the free government 
under which we live, every one can write as much as he wishes, 
what he wishes, & to whom he wishes, even if the only object be the 
gratification derived from inter course with an absent friend — 

The town has been exceedingly gloomy for the last three weeks & 
I had a real apprehension that coffin-hand bills would be necessary 
or rather that the dissolution would be too speedy even to strike 
them off Van Boklin & White have failed in N York. The news 
arrived at night & had an archangel summoned us all to heaven 
the good people could not have been more astonished We are, 
however, recovering from the fright, since the merchants, have 
discovered that, with one or two exceptions, they are debtors & not 
creditors to the bankrupts. 

We lately had an interesting law-case decided in our court. 
James Stanly^ was Wright's Stanly's security on several notes in 
the New Bern-Bank. At last W. gets him to sign a note of $10,000, 
with a view, as J. asserts but does not prove, to take up the old 
notes, & have /all/ the <whole notes> /debts/ embraced in one 
large one. W. did not do it but applied the money to other purposes. 
Therefore J. says that he ought to be released from the debt. Badger 
from Raleigh came to appear for J. Stanly & the bank was "cast." 
A more unjust decision never was declared in a court of justice. It 
only shows <the spici> that the hostility of the people against the 
banks is so great that it cannot be restrained even when they are 
acting as jurors under the obligation of an oath. 

A few days ago, I was invited to spend a day or two at Burgwyn's 
plantation.^ I visited old Po[ll]ock's'^ farm that contains 3.000. 
acres of cleared ground. There were five acres of sugar. There was 
nothing very remarkable or beautiful in the appearance of the 
plant. The cane is put in the soil, three or five inches below the 
surface, in a horizontal direction & the sprouts shoot from the 
joints. Last year he planted an acre in sugar. Part of the cane 
planted this year was the product of that acre & part he got from 
Savannah. The former is equally as good as the latter That the 
sugar-crop may prove profitable I sincerely wish. 

Fredk, we hear, has gone to Tennessee & John is a judge in 
Florida. The latter has not written a single line since his elevation 
to the bench. Whether dignity or want of time be the cause I cannot 

The Pettigrew Papers 121 

Mama is going to Hillsboro' in a few weeks. She can't think of 
parting with James so soon — 

With the hope that Kttle James is recovering & the remainder of 
the family in good health 

I remain 

Your aff. Brother 

C Shepard. 

Give my love to Sister Nancy & Aunt Pettigrew 


E Pettigrew Esqr 

Cool Spring 


^This was probably James Green Stanly (1783-1858), a lawyer who served as 
clerk of court for fifty years. He was brother to John Stanly and cousin to 
Wright C. Stanly. Gertrude S. Carraway, The Stanly (Stanley) Family and the 
Historic John Wright Stanly House (New Bern: Tryon Palace Commission, 
1969), 21-22. 

^Shepard probably refers to John Fanning Burgwyn (1783-1864), a wealthy 
merchant who owned plantations in Craven and Jones counties. Powell, 
DNCB, I, 277-278. 

^George Pollock (1772-1836), the son of Thomas and Eunice Edwards Pollock, 
was a wealthy plantation owner and half brother to Sarah Pierrepoint Hunt 
Burgwyn, the wife of John Fanning Burgwyn. Beth G. Crabtree and James W. 
Patton (eds.), "Journal of a Secesh Lady": The Diary of Catherine Ann 
Devereux Edmondston, 1860-1866 (Raleigh: Division of Archives and History, 
Department of Cultural Resources, 1979), xviii, hereinafter cited as Crabtree 
and Patton, "Journal of a Secesh Lady. " 

Ehenezer Pettigrew to James Cathcart Johnston unc 

Bonarva on Lake Phelps June 5, 1829 

My dear sir, 

I received your favour of Ap 1st by Capt Dunbar together with the 
Bull for which please to accept my sincere thanks, he is a fine 
looking animal and I have no doubt will be a great acquisition to 
my stock, of which the severity of the past winter has made a 
considerable diminution. I am far from thinking your mill specula- 
tion a wild one. I know, no mill that the building would cost too 
much when the owner had as much use for it as you have. Though 
my mouths are but few to feed, comparitively speaking yet if mine 
cost five times as much as it did, the convinience is so great I would 
have it. At the time of the sale you mention it was not in my power 
to go to Edenton, I had engaged D^ Warren to go, but his business 
did not permit. I regret not having the pleasure to see you also the 

122 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

loss of bargins, but all is for the best. I approve of your corp of 
internal improvement, you will find them I think pay as much or 
more than if in the crop. My corn is very promising I think more so 
than last year, it never stood better, and I have not yet seen any 
chince bugs. I have 103 acres planted. My wheat may be called a 
fair crop. A part of it suffered from the wet in the winter & spring, 
and the youngest of it is some blasted by a spell of rain while in the 
blossom yet I think it will avarage 25 bus. I must begin to harvest 
next week. From the appearance of the weather I fear a wet and of 
course a troublesome one, but I have never lost any wheat yet from 
unfavourable harvests. 

Our vessil will be compleated at farthest in three weeks. The 
Captain is now in Baltimore geting the sails riging & iron work, as 
soon as he returns she will be lauched riged and then loaded, which 
I hope will be between the 1 & 5 of July. I shall then proceed in her 
to Edenton for the purpose of taking out the necessary papers, 
when I hope to have the pleasure of seeing you, and I hope my 
business & family will permit me at that time to take with you the 
contemplated trip, in the interim I should be very glad to see you 
here. M^ Woodley has been closely employed on the Creek, and 
there has been a great deal of mud taken out, a vessil drawing 6 ft is 
able to load at my upper thoroughfare at common tide. 

I have learned that Messrs V Bokkelen & White have failed 
under very unfavourable circumstances to their character, I sold a 
draft on thim dated IS^h April to the Branch Bank U. States at 
Norfolk. I hope it was paid as I have heard nothing from it. It was 
at sight. I shipped about 4 weeks ago mine and my mothers little 
last years crop of wheat to Baltimore and am informed that it nets 
nearly a dollar. I have not yet sold my last years crop of corn, 
having reserved it for the second voyage of our vessil. I observe it is 
advancing and I hope by that time it will command a tolerable 

M^^ Pettigrew joins me in best respects to your sisters and please 
to assure yourself of Esteem & regard of your friend 

E Pettigrew 

James C Johnston Esqr 

[Addressed] James C. Johnston Esqr 

The Pettigrew Papers 123 

Ebenezer Pettigrew to John Herritage Bryan unc 

Lake Phelps Sep. 1, 1829 

My dear Sir, 

Your favour of 24th June came safe to hand & I believe I was at 
that time in your debt a letter received from Washington. I cannot 
give as an apology and be honest the heat of the weather, for such 
apparent neglect, as long as I can ride a dub horse under the saddle 
42 miles in one of the hottest days of august, without experiencing 
any inconvenience after it, but I will say that untill a short time my 
mind has been so much occupied with a multiplicity of business the 
very reverse of letter writing that it has been too much labour. I 
know your liberality will receive this as sufficient apology. 

I had the good fortune to draw on V Bokkelen & White at sight 
about six weeks before he failed, in favour of the United States 
Bank at Norfolk. I have heard nothing from it since. I feel a great 
deal of compassion for the helpless part of the stock holders in the 
Banks but when those who could have the business otherwise, 
would permit Stevens to remain in office as long as he did. What 
must we say? Could anyone who knew the concerns of the Bank or 
the movements of Stevens doubt for a moment that he was a 
perfectly useless being in it and that he would be (in the refined 
language of the present refined age) a large defalter. What in old 
times would be called thief. We know that Stevens is not alone by 
almost all the rest.^ There has not been honesty enough found for a 
number of years past to justify a bank, and I very much fear that 
the Legislature in the plenitude of their folly will make one 
exclusively belonging to the State, which will be nothing more 
than a nursery for theives, but in the language of this polished age 
Def alters. I fear you will think me blood thirsty, but in this day of 
extravagance, who can be trusted with money? Witness John 
Haywood^ & German Baker. If they did not waste, they permited 
their families. They both deserved the same death. If there is not 
more work & less extravagance, all confidence will be destroyed. 

I shall expect the horses from W^^ Shepard, to drag my dear wife 
to visit her relations. I am much obliged for your attention to the 
Sugar cane. I shall be prepaired for it, though I have had but one 
opinion on the subject of agriculture in this climate & particular 
soil, which is that wheat & corn juditiously divided are the most 
profitable. I have in partnership with a Capt. Dunbar, built a vessil 
this spring of about 63 tons burden She is on her second voyage to 
Boston, with a load of my corn. The first was with a load of my 
wheat to New York which commanded a tolerable price. 

Mrs Pettigrew recived a letter by the last mail from her Sister M^s 
Bryan, informing her of the birth of another fine son [James 

124 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

Pettigrew Bryan] also his name. I am gratified at the good opinion 
expressed in that name, at the same time I fear that at some future 
day, there may be cause to change it, for we are all [torn] imperfect 
beings. We congratulate you & your better half on the event, but 
really I fear we shall be too numerous to thrive. However there is 
yet an immense unoccupied territory in the United States. M^^s p. 
and children are tolerable at present she sends her Love to her 
sister. Please to give mine & assure yourself of my Esteem. ^ 

E Pettigrew 

John Bryan Esqr 

[Addressed] Hon. John H. Bryan 
North Carolina 

1 Historical accounts, newspapers, and biographies have been searched 
unsuccessfully for information on the bank fraud or embezzlement. 

2John Haywood (1744-1827) served as state treasurer for forty years, 
beginning in 1787. In 1819 he was accused of dishonest practices, and at the 
time of his death his accounts were short almost $70,000. Ashe, Biographical 
History, VI, 282, 283, 285; Hugh Talmage Lefler and Albert Ray Newsome, 
North Carolina: The History of a Southern State (Chapel Hill: University of 
North Carolina Press, third edition, 1973), 319, hereinafter cited as Lefler and 
Newsome, North Carolina; Daniel Miles McFarland, "North Carolina News- 
papers, Editors, and Journalistic Politics, 1815-1835," North Carolina 
Historical Review, XXX (July, 1953), 390. 

Charles Biddle Shepard to Ebenezer Pettigrew a&h 

New Bern NC. Oct. 26. 1829 

My dear Sir, 

Your long-expected letter came to hand at Hillsboro' when I was 
on the eve of a departure to the Western part of the State. It should 
have been answered before this time but I had hoped that my trip 
would have furnished something new & interesting to communicate 
& therefore I have delayed so agreeable a duty to this period. I have 
visited the celebrated gold-mines, ^ that are attracting hundreds of 
capitalists from all parts of the country & not a small number of 
persons who were governed by the same motive as myself — 
curiosity. Many are amassing vast fortunes & some, I fear, are 
losing them, one man obtains daily $100 from the labour of four 
hands; others $5, <a pei> from each labourer & some $1. Nothing 
but the mines is talked of in the West & there is scarcely a man, who 
is not engaged in them, in [some w]ay or other, either, as lessor, 
lessee, buyer, seller, or search[er.] In most of them the ore is <of a 
generally ne> a kind [of] gravel or rock; this is pounded & ground 

The Pettigrew Papers 125 

with water & quicksilver, the former [of] which carries off the dirt 
whilst the latter adheres to the gold & sinks with it to the bottom of 
the vessel in which the stones are used. 

I was very much pleased with the country. It is far superior to the 
one in which I live. It is healthier, the soil is richer, the mass of the 
people better clothed, fed & more intelligent than those who live in 
the neighbourhood of Athens. But it is never the less not to be 
compared to the Lake-Country. I have never seen such noble 
growth as that which you can boast of nor such a farm as the one of 
which you are master. My companion, Col Jones^ of Hillsboro' 
formerly of Halifax, is a farmer & whenever an opportunity 
occurred, I would dilate on the beauty & richness of Lake-Phelps. 

We returned to New Bern on 19th inst. Mama thought it best that 
the horses should have a little rest before they were sent to you. If 
convenient, she wishes you to help Bill on his way homeward as he 
is a poor walker. Probably you could Send him as far as Washing- 
ton. We are in hopes that we shall see Sister Nancy & yourself & 
family in a short tim[e.] We are always glad to see our brothers & 
sis[ters] but we shall be particularly so at present, [for] a great 
revival, among the religious folks in New Bern, has thrown a 
gloom over the town & I really wish to see some one who can enjoy 
a laugh without thinking he has committed a sin. old Madam MAE 
has been converted. Divers others have given up the pomp & 
vanity of this life to become — I was about to say hypocrites but I 
will be more charitable. However we will talk over these matters 
when we meet. Mama & the family join me in love to yourself & 
Sister Nancy & beg me to say they are anxiously expecting you. 
Believe me your aff. Brother 

Ch. Shepard. 
[Addressed] E. Pettigrew Esqr 
Cool Spring 
Washington Co. 

^The presence of gold in North Carolina was known shortly after 1800, and 
mining became extensive after 1825. Mining camps sprang up in Burke and 
McDowell counties and a gold rush was on by 1829. In 1837 the federal 
government established a branch mint in Charlotte that operated until 1871. 
Samuel A'Court Ashe, History of North Carolina (Greensboro: Charles L, Van 
Noppen, 2 volumes, 1925), II, 306, hereinafter cited as Ashe, History of North 
Carolina. For more information on gold mining in the state see Richard F. 
Knapp, Golden Promise in the Piedmont: The Story of John Reed's Mine 
(Raleigh: Division of Archives and History, Department of Cultural Resources, 
1975), and Fletcher Melvin Green, "Gold Mining: A Forgotten Industry of 
Ante-Bellum North Carolina," North Carolina Historical Review, XIV (January 
and April, 1937), 1-19, 135-155. 

^Cadwallader Jones (1787-1861), a native of Virginia, was an alumnus of 
Warrenton Academy. After serving in the navy and as an army officer, he lived 
in Halifax. Jones moved to Hillsborough and sat frequently on the state board 
of internal improvements. Henderson, North Carolina, I, 563, II, 54; Hamilton 
and Williams, Graham Papers, V, 225n. 

126 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

Charles Lockhart Pettigrew to Mary Lockhart Pettigrew UNC 

Hillsborough 18 Dec 1829 

Dear /grand/ Mama 

I take this opportunity of writing you a few lines we arrived at 
Newbern on the evening of the third day after we left your house 
and remained there two days and we got to Raleigh on the third 
day there my Papa showed me and my brothers the statue of 
general Washington and there we me with uncle James Shepherd 
he stayed there two days and started in the stage to Newbern we 
went to the circus two night and saw a little boy make a summerset 
over seven horses and two nights to the theatre and saw some very 
pretty plays acted and /varius/ songs and amongths them was 
cold black rose sung we stayed five days in Raleigh and set out for 
Hillsborough on Sunday morning and we had not got five miles 
before my Papa evedently discovered that Richmond was founderd 
very bad I like Mr Bingham tolerable well my Papa set out from 
here the day after he came here all of us sends our love to you 

your affectionate grandson 
Charles L Pettigrew 
[Addressed] Mrs Mary Pettigrew 
Cool Spring pst. 
Washington Co. 

Ebenezer Pettigrew to Ann Blount Pettigrew unc 

Lake Phelps Dec 27, 1829 

My dear wife 

The greatest pleasure which I can have on this earth when 
seperated from my sweet Girl is to converse with her through the 
quill, a pleasure which I had expected to enjoy on Christmas day, 
but settling with M^ Davis^ & then intruders as likewise yesterday 
have prevented untill today. 

I wrote you from Plymouth on monday evening; the next day 
seting out very early I got to Mothers before 12 & to breakfast, and 
to the Lake before night. I found my mother well and disposed to 
employ Stubbs, another year, a thing I shall not object to. I go out 
there tomorrow for the purpose of settling with him. I shall then 
have mother to employ whom she pleases. I understand but it is as 
usual kept a secret that the night after we left, mother fainted and 
was apparently dead an hour, before she came too. My authority is 

The Pettigrew Papers 127 

When I arrived at home M^ Davis was about winding up salting 
pork, we have a fine parcel, and though it has been warm since I 
hope there will be none spoiled. M*" D. says it was well rubed, & they 
have used more salt than in former years. M^^s Warrington & our 
dear little children were and had been quite well, they seem to be 
very contented, though little Mary says she wants to see her Ma, & 
brothers, you /know/ Henry is satisfied if he can see M^s w. who is 
eaqually kind to Mary. As well as a quantity of pork, you have 
three barrils of fat. 

I think M^^ Davis has been has been very busy since I left he had 
got not only that part of the Bee Tree which was in wheat two years 
ago, ploughed up but all that where the potatoes had been planted, 
amounting to 70 acres, and counting the middle field makes one 
hundred acres. He also had got all the pines as welll as reeds that 
were in the Bee Tree cut down, at the same time keeping the mill 
going, though it has been dry the Lake is about the height it was 
when we left. I think M^^ Davis a worthy fellow & disposeed to do 
something in this world; his business obliged him to leave me for 
the present, but he has agreed to commence the next year after the 
first day of Feb. He wanted more wages but would undertake for 
the old price, however I thought that $2.50 per month was nothing 
to be well served also knowing that if you want good servants pay 
them well I agreed with him for $15 p^ m. I can make out very well 
the next month, but my dear sons being gone, also my heath I 
thought, demanded (howevr enegetic my mind might be) some 
person to assist me, and knew no one who would suit me so well. 
His fine constitution, his sobriety, his strict attention, are great 
recommendations, and indispensible to me. M^ [Nathan A.] Brick- 
house had quite recovered, and had both the houses that were 
raised before you left finished, he /is/ now gone home, but expects 
to return in a week. I think him right smart. 

One of Lidia's son Joe had been very sick with flux & M^'s 
Warrington sent for the Doctor, but he was too sick to come, he 
however came the day before Christmas & went away next 
morning. I learned from D^^ W. that he had been very ill, with 
something of his old complaint & cold from exposure. Previous to 
his sickness he was at the Lake & M^s C. /(the old gentleman was 
one also)/ invited him & M^^s W. particularly to dine, to which they 
attended. And such stile the D** says he has before seen in a few 
instances, but such as I have never heard of, and such luxury of 
wines as I am sure I shall never be engaged in; They /the C.s/ were 
very clever, as much so /as/ it was possible Though they dined at 
3oc they had coffee & the Doctor & M^s went to Mothers that night, 
having left Edward there. All this needs no comment from me. I am 
an independant man. The young man & wife are expected 

128 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

Moffat is dead. Poor creature! I forgive him, I was not with the 
[suit], because he steals my pelf, but how can I forgive the wretch 
who would ruin my character & thereby my happiness in my 
family forever. I would not live a /day/ longer than my companion 
had the most perfect confidence in my virtue & honesty & truth. 
Nor do I believe I could take [to my armes] one who did not posses 
those qualities in an eminent degree, I thank my God though a 
wicked sinner that he has had me under his fostering care unto the 
present day. Untill I returned home my old complaint was much 
better, the Doctor say from the diaria & discharge of blood, I had 
some pain yesterday & the day before, but yesterday I drank an 
infusion of Sasafras & Bay bark root, (a prescription of my own) 
and was better last night & today. I think the disease originates in 
the kidneys. I was much disappointed in not geting a letter from 
you last mail. You see I have filled the paper & have but room to ask 
you to give my respects to your Ma & family & assure you of the 
warmest feelings of your Husband 

E Pettigrew 

Dec 28. 1 am just informed that Capt. D. was in the storm of Nov. 
27. and had to scud 3 days, in all which time the Lady of the Lake 
behaved well he is now in Aligator river, [not] very well himself 

[Addressed] M^s Ann B Pettigrew 
Newbern N.C 

^As this letter indicates, Ebenezer employed Davis as an overseer. Seven 
Davis families are listed in Tyrrell and Washington counties in the 1830 Census 
Index, 46-48. 

Ann Blount Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew UNC 

Newbern December 31st i829 

Dear Husband 

I received your letter from Plymouth with great pleasure, I was 
sorry to understand that you had been so sick, it was very fortunate 
you procured the laudnum, I am gratified also that you have placed 
the Boys so comfortably. I had a letter from William last week he 
said they were well — Johnston has been very sick with the 
vomiting and purging, I tried various simples which did not 
succeed and I sent for Doct — Boyed who gave him a dose of 
calomel, since I have been giving him stimulents & charcoal and 
he is much better — his sickness prevented my going to church on 
Christmas day and as that was the day for administering the 
sacrement I regretted it — I saw the ornaments of the Church 

The Pettigrew Papers 129 

after — the dressing was more splendid that you can immagine 
wreathes of evergreens festooned in the most beautiful manner, 
gilt letters on crimson appropriate to the occasion — ^also a dove 
made of wax was suspended over the Pulpit, which fell down the 
day before & was broken — 

I am as well as one can expect to be who eats heartily & takes no 
exercise, before one can walk in town it is necessary to dress & that 

is sufficient to prevent me— Mrs Mc K has returned from the 

wedding after many hairbreadth escapes <of> /from/ head 
winds, rainy weather etc — . there were four gentlemen from 
Richmond & every thing that was great and good — she also 
investigated poor Frederick's rencontre with Holloway by inquiring 
of Mr Sawyer from Pasquotank who says he acted honorably & 
justify ably — the story was circulated through the country much to 
his prejudice — I fear he has quite too much impetuosity of temper 
for his good— 

I was invited to a party at Mrs Smyths but did not go — not 
having much desire for such amusements, Mrs Armstead begins to 
break a little, but is as gay as a lark — 

Through the vigilence of the Bank the Stanly negroes are 
coming from Norfolk, the old man [John Stanly] has been very 
ill — speechless four days so they say they say he is a child in 
intellect & therefore is not reproachble for any thing that is done, 
but it is believed he knew nothing of this affair untill after & that 
caused the paralisis— ^he frequently cries immoderaly — James & 
Right Stanly's reputation suffers much for their conduct — I shall 
be ready to return the first of Feby I long to see you dear Husband & 
the dear children — kiss them for me give my love to your Mother & 

Ma & family send their regards to you 

believe me as ever your aff. wife 
Ann B Pettigrew 
[Addressed] Mr E Pettigrew 
Cool Spring 
Washington County 

Ehenezer Pettigrew to Ann Blount Pettigrew unc 

Lake Phelps Jan 5, 1830 

I rejoice to see another week roal round that I may have the 
double pleasure of conversing with my sweet Wife again. I 
congratulate you on the commencment of a new year may it be <to 
us> a year of rational pleasure, to us both, is the prayer of your 

130 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

affectionate Husband. It gave me pain to learn in your kind letter 
of the 23d (which I received by the last mail) that you had been sick, 
but the same conveyance informed me that you were better; I hope 
your health is restored, and that you will take all necessary 
precaution against a return of that dangerous disease. I should 
have been pleased to learn whether my Lovely wife, was in the 
situation which we both suspected. 

In regard to the Rians, I believe I have informed you in a former 
letter, but I will again say, that I gave M^ Hog^ a $50 fee & 
requested him to defend me against, Dave [David Ryan] whose suit 
is in the sup[rime] court; John's [Ryan] is in Bertie yet^ & I must 
employ yet another lawyer W^ H. being employed in his case. I hope 
from 'My Hogs statement, at any rate, not to be obiged to pay more 
than I have received of the estate say $1500 but there is a chance for 
me to get clear. You will say nothing of the amount. 

The continued show & dash of those who are insolvants, may be 
compaired to a candle in the socket. Just before it sinks it brims up 
with more brilincy, sinks and is no more seen. There will be a dash 
with the sums perloined from creditors untill it is extinguished, 
and then they will sink to be no more seen, unless some fortunate 
het may set them going again. 

I very much pity M^ Stanly, but except his infirmity, with his 
course he must expect the like. It is the natural consequence of 
extravagance & the manner of raising children. 

I believe I wrote you that I had placed our dear children at M^ 
Bingams, very much to my satisfaction. I got a letter by the last 
mail from Charles written on the day I left. He writes as though 
they were all very well satisfied. 

On the day I wrote you last I went to Mothers to settle with 
Stubbs, after which I left her to employ who she pleased. Stubbs, 
Jordan Phelps, young Clayton, and Jack Hathaway, were candi- 
dates and who do you think she chose? who do you think? Why 
Jack Hathaway. I have nothing to say on that subject now. Old M^s 
Peterson, just went from Mothers the day I passed to her house 
from [Gijbbs. I have reason to believe that the object of her visit, 
was to get in there with her Husband but the poor old Lady, had 
resolution enough to resist that move. 

With regard to my self, I have some times been a little better and 
then again the same. After settling with Stubbs as above I went to 
Doc<^r Warrens, and he showed me a book, giving my case precisely, 
which rather depressed my spirits, but we must bear up with the 
ills of this life with firmness. He says mine is a mild case and he 
has taken me in hand in good earnest. I am now restricted the use 
of meat, and all grease, also from walking. He applys camphor & 
vinigar, and I drink the infusion of Bay & Sasafras bark root, 
which I have great confidence in. He says if these remedies will not 

The Pettigrew Papers 131 

cure, I must be laid on my back for a month & <undergo> /be/ 
Salivated. And I say from the book, that /if that/ will not cure, You 
know the next. It is not necessary for me to say how much I feel and 
who most for, and if any act of mine had caused it, I know not what 
I should do with my self. My dear wife I have not words to express 
the pleasure which I have always had at your reasonable gratifica- 
tion. And I now declare to you that I am willing to be sacrificed for 
your happiness, for a sweeter & more deserving woman does not 
exist. My indisposition while coming home & my low living has 
lessened my flesh, you frequently speak of the hardness of my 
hands but, I think they look much more honey than then. My 
general health is now pretty good & my thinness arises from 
abstinance. If my situation will permit I shall come for you but I 
may even be geting /well/ and still be prevented, pray do not be 
alarmed in that case untill you learn from the servant the facts of 
the case. M^^ Warrington sends her complements to you M^^ B. & 
Ma. She & our dear little children are well, Henry had two days last 
week a cold with considerable fever, but got well with simples. 
Doc^^^' Warren was informed by his brother t[torn] Vaiden had 
sailed for New Orleans, and that Frederick [torn] going but his 
eyes were so bad, that he had to stop. 

I understand from J. Haughton^ that M^ C[lement]. Blounts'* 
creditors have made a sale on him to the amount of about $2000. In 
which they sold his crop of corn, his household furniture, & 4 or 5 of 
his negroes. These executions [were] levied before the deed in trust. 
Haughton says he owes more and that the creditors are determined 
to rush through the deed in Trust. Capt Dunbar has been to see me. 
he has been doing something to a profit. I expect him on the 20^^ to 
take a load of corn from me. Lidia had a daughter on the 3^^^ Inst. 
All well The Collins' have not yet made their appearance since 
Christmas. There is to be tonight at M^ J. Haughtons a ball. The 
company are invited from Edenton, Plymouth & a select few in the 
country, among them myself, /among/ my importuners to go is D^ 
W. but I shall decline it. I am sincerely your aff. H. 

E Pettigrew 
[Addressed] M^s Ann B. Pettigrew 
Newbern N. Carolina 

^Gavin Hogg, an 1807 graduate of the University of North Carolina, 
practiced law in Bertie County. He moved to Raleigh, where he lived at the time 
of this letter, and worked with James Iredell and William H. Battle to prepare 
the Revised Statutes of the State of North Carolina. Hogg "had a large practice 
and a wide reputation" as an attorney. Battle, History of the University, 1, 182. 

^The suits probably concerned the will of Dr. John Beasley ; Ebenezer was an 
executor of the will. See Ann Blount Pettigrew to Mary Williams Bryan, 
September 24, 1827, note, in this volume. 

132 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

3John Haughton was a friend of Ebenezer Pettigrew. He married Mary 
Hooker of Tyrrell County in 1809. Lemmon, Pettigrew Papers, I, 406n. 

''Clement Hall Blount, brother of Dr. Frederick Blount and Sarah Porter 
Blount Fuller, was the son of James Blount and Ann Hall Blount of Mulberry 
Hill near Edenton. He was first cousin to Ebenezer Pettigrew. Lemmon, 
Pettigrew Papers, I, xvi. See also Ebenezer Pettigrew to Ann Blount Pettigrew, 
December 5, 1826, in this volume. 

Ann Blount Pettigrew to Charles Lockhart 

and William Shepard Pettigrew UNC 

Newbern January 6^^ 1830 — 

My Dear Children, 

It is uncertain whether your uncle James will go up to Hills- 
borough or not as the Academy is now in such a flourishing state 
here, if he does not this letter will be carried by Mr George Jones a 
very amiable young gentleman whose friendship I wish you to 
cultivate. I shall enclose 4 dollars with which you must buy two 
umbrellas, cotton umbrellas are cheaper and more lasting, if there 
should not be money enough you can borrow from M^ Bingham or 
get him to advance. I hope my Dear children that you will take care 
of your health and characters, beware of doing a disgraceful 
action, strictly obey your Teacher and attend to your studies 
closely, and waste no time recollecting your Father has a large 
family of Children to provide for — you will see boys no doubt who 
will have a great deal of money to to waste — but it will not benefit 
them they would be better without it — take pains with your letters 
spell well — I know that James is a wild child but you must 
persuade him to do right and not expose every every little 
indiscretion of his — you must talk to him & tell him how he must 
act, he is very young & infirm in health — be sure & let us know if he 
has any sign of that disease returning — your Father was well 
when I heard from him — I expect to go home next month early — I 
shall write you /as/ soon as I get home — My dear sons, I am your 
affectionate mother 

Ann Pettigrew. 

Ask Mrs B. if she will please to <have> have your cloaks tucked — 
they are too long 

[Addressed] M^ Charles & William Pettigrew, 
No Carolina. 

The Pettigrew Papers 133 

Ebenezer Pettigrew to Ann Blount Pettigrew UNC 

Lake Phelps Jan. 11, 1830 

Fearing that business or intruders may prevent me from writing 
as long a letter to my Dear wife as I wish, I have commenced the 
day before the mail, though I feel illy able from having been 
necessarily exposed all the morning to the cold air which is this 
morning more like winter than any thing I have seen before <this 
winter> since it came in. I hope it will continue and give a check to 
the wheat, which was geting too forward. We have had so far a 
delightfull winter for work. Though we have had very little rain the 
Lake keeps at such a hight as to saw, and thereby enables me to 
supply the timber for the new houses that are building. I last 
thursday evening went to mothers for the purpose of geting some 
more pine timber for the floor of the new house, (fearing that I had 
not enough) also some Hickory for rail mals & to smoke the bacon 
with, which employed me the remainder of the week, and I did not 
return home untill Sunday evening, having stayed as it was 
quarte/r/ly meeting. I however did not stay at the Chapel long. 
The house was so much crouded that I did not think proper to go in 
& before 12 it began to rain; feeling very unwell I returned to 
mothers: On my return home I was taken, between the two gates in 
a squall, from the west in which I for a few minutes thought myself 
in great danger. The limbs flew & the trees bent over the carriage to 
no small alarm of the horses, but thank providence there was no 

Knowing that I had a certain quantity of work to do in a given 
time, I was up & out on Fryday morning before one could be 
distinguished ten feet, and went into the woods immediately to 
look for timber, I returned to breakfast late & then had to wait, I 
then to please the old Lady had to walk round her fence to see if it 
wanted mending, and to tell her overseer what to do, from which I 
returned about 12 compleatly exhausted, and in a conversation 
with her on my return as compensation for my fatigue was told 
that I took no interest in the concern. You may be certain that I was 
not behind in talking. I consider her totally unmanagable. There 
can be no doubt had it not been for me she at this day would not be 
worth one dollar. The next day I was also in the woods very early, 
and returned to breakfast, after which I think I had a chil, 
succeeded by fever, since which time my old complaint has been 
more painful, though better today than yesterday. I adhere strictly 
to the regimen in my former letter. I have hope, but, sometimes am 
very desponding. My sweet Girl my own pleasures are but a drop to 
the ocean, when in comparison to one I love so much; I last night 
heard the clock strike 4, and concluded that I would spend the 

134 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

remainder of the night in contemplating my dear Nancy. There is 
so Uttle energy in my system that I cannot be kept warm /in bed/ 
by all the blankets I can put on. 

I understand that the old Squires /or young Squires/ ball was an 
abation, The Doctor who was before anxious that I should go, says 
now, that he was glad I did not. Doct^^ Lewis came there drunk, & 
M^ Dickinson in dancing fell down & put his wrist out of place, I 
understand it is useless yet. They invited what they would call the 
grandees from a distance & but few came. It was all hands dance a 
six handed reel & change partners & dance again. I left at Mothers 
yesterday The Elder & Mr Bell, M^s Spelman & little girl old M^s 
Forlaw & [Lidy]. Her overseer is really a poor Bitch. 

It is with regret I inform you that the Messrs Turners have failed, 
it is said for 30,000, dollars. I am not surprised, their business was 
with negroes, and their lenity of sentiment & no doubt of conduct, 
would in time break any one. I went on thursday to mothers in a 
flat, and as I passed Dan. Woodleys, William Woodley was there & 
I missed him, he however went to the lake & next day cut the [saw], 
& in the evening came to mothers, where he staid untill Sunday 
morning. He was very sick with bilious complain in the Christmas 
& left one of M^ Johnstons' overseers dangerously ill. He says 
th[ere] is no comparison between the health of where he is now & 
the Lake, the latter is so much to be prefered. 

Jan 12. Though your poor old husband has but the remains of a 
shattered frame he was up this morning at 6 oclock which by 
refering to the Almanack, you will find is more than an hou[r] 
before sunrise. I had no fever yesterday, and this morning [fee]l 
tolerable well, though my pulse cannot b[^orn] My dearest Girl, 
Although my frame is a wreck, the energy of my mind & warmth of 
soul is not in the slightest degree impaired. I have all I ever had. 

I learn from Ben that M^ J. Collins jun & Lady stayed at mothers 
last night, after an absence of 4 weeks wanting a day. Hogs not 
killed. Overseer not engaged. &c &c. This [needs] nothing [from 

Mrs Warrington & our dear little children are quite well and very 
happy, they are very fond of Mrs W. & she is alike kind to both of 
them I believe they slept with her last night. 

I am in high hopes of geting a letter today to learn of yours and 
our dear little boys health in the mean time assure yourself of the 
unfeigned Love of your Husband 

E Pettigrew 

Pray excuse this miserable scratch 

Mrs A. B. Pettigrew 

[Addressed] Mrs Ann B. Pettigrew 

New Bern N.C 

The Pettigrew Papers 135 

Charles Lockhart Pettigrew to Ehenezer Pettigrew unc 

Hillsborough Feb 16 1830 

Dear Father 

I received your letter last night about 9 oclock the stage coming 
latter then than usual I suppose on account of the bad weather. I 
was very sorry to hear that you were unwell so long and sepent 
your time so lonely I know it is very trying to you who have spent so 
much of your time there so happily when you contrast them you 
can look at one with pleasure and the other with regret and I am 
very glad to hear that you were a greadeal better, and that your 
overseer suited you so well he is then without dou<gh>/b/t of 
great service to you since he attends to your business so well I was 
very glad to hear the negroes behaved so very well which saves you 
from a great quantity of trouble both corporal and mental which if 
you had to endure would put you in a fever ever time you were vexed 
by them you being at present in such a state of health. I received 
the sum of money which was stated in your letter and was very 
thankful to for it /and/ for striving hard to send us to school up 
here decenly. I am at /present/ studying Virgil and smiths 
arithmetic that being <the> one, of the most improved editions of 
the time I study that in the place of greek I will soon be through it 
and will begin geometry. Virgil is very interesting if you get a clear 
view of the subject. We have tripping in our class which makes the 
boys very emulous and striving to out do eachother they take the 
same places in virgil as when they recite <vig> greek and therefore 
they do not like my taking my p/l/ace in virgil because they say I 
ought to foot every day because I have nothing to do but to get the 
virgil but there /they are/ mistaken because all the time they 
appropriate to greek I get my Arithmetic M^' Bingham wants me to 
go on as fast as I can. Brother William has joined the polemic sciety 
which is a very useful institution they have bought some books 
they have a pretty good little library which the boys who belong to 
the society use /which/ at their pleasure, it a debateing society and 
improves the mind very much because they all have to make a 
speech of their own composition on the subject selected for 
discussion, it has greatly improved within a few weeks because M^* 
Bingham has compeled althose thwelve and over that (that being 
the age they are ad<d>mitted to become regular members of the 
society) to join M^ Bingham formerly had monitors but the 
members of the society have formed a law <to> after this manner 
that ever <person> /boy/ should be reported to the society who did 
not behave himself discretely shal be fined some sume at their 
discression they have monitor to report to them, M^ Bingham took 
this instead of making them give their seals and words to him they 
would return and consid miself in duty bound to report fathfully, 
and I shall report for if I do not I shall be telling a story <I> and 

136 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

there fore I think I had better report and not tell a<l> lie which /if I 
did tell a liy/ would be distressing to my relations though I incur 
the dis pleasure of a few of my school mates. I have been a little 
indesposed for the last week brother William has been a little 
unwell but we are both very well now M^ Bingham will give you a 
full discription on the next page of Brother James's health 

I am you dutiful and affectionate son 
Charles L Pettigrew 

Ehenezer Pettigrew to James Cathcart Johnston UNC 

Lake Phelps March 9, 1830 

My dear Sir, 

I received your favour of 30 Jan. together with the axes & a 
quantity of baskets, for all which pl[ease] to accept my sincere 
thanks. I have no doubt the hoes will come in due time, as my time 
for ditching is after the crop is over. I set out on the 2^^^ of Feb. for 
Newbern to accompany M^s Pettigrew home. I was caught there in 
the snow, and found when I arrived that the small Pox was in the 
place. In consequence of which I had to leave before the snow was 
off the ground, which made my trip the more disagreeable. The day 
I left the place I took a violent cold and have been confined several 
times to the bed & almost entirely to the house ever since. In the 
mean time my disease before mentioned grew worse & I have 
submited to two excessively painful opperations, on my urethra. 
The swelling still continues, though I think I am some better. You 
will I know say with me that this is serious sort of business, and 
needs a great share of fortitude. If I had not possessed fortitude or 
obstinacy like a Bull Dog, to resist the world, the flesh, the Devil & 
the People / people & every other obstacle that could present itself, 
I should long since, have sunk under their power; but so long as 
there is a shot in the locker, I will not give up the ship. 

My business is going on better than could be expected I am in a 
great state of forwardness in the farm particularly when I am 
expecting to take in 75 Acres of new ground. I expect to begin to 
plant corn by the 25th and hope to plant 200 Acres. But Alas! If I 
have to visit D^" Phisic^ this spring what will become of all these 
calculations? What is the use of the best constructed steam 
machinery without fire? All I can say is that I will do my best. I was 
surprised to learn that the former plantation of Messrs Iredell & 
Treadwell was in such order. Could any man have chosen more 
inefficient partners than M^' Iredell did? I have had a return from 
my shipment to Charleston. The cargo nets me $4.85 cts pr barril. 

The Pettigrew Papers 137 

M^ Edmondston^ sayd it was much liked & sold for from 4 to 5 cents 
more in the bushel than any other in market. My wheat looks finely 
& is out of danger from frost. I have a hope of a great crop. When I 
left Caledonia^ last I looked as well as I could at the valey runing I 
think about Toms house, and from its appearance I would suggest 
the propriety of examining the ground well before I dug any more 
on the canal in that quarter. I do not pretend to know anything 
about, but I recollect you spoke of that vally. I have inquired & 
heard of no fresh on Roanoak [River] this winter since the first, & 
hope by or before this you are safe with the mill. I confidently 
expect to receive a visit from you this spring. You need not be afraid 
of my being from home when you come. If I should go to 
Philidelphia, you will be advised of in due time. If I go, I hope to be 
back by the first of may. Johnston has been at the point of death 
with Croup & then inflamitory fever, he is now toler[ably] re- 
covered. Mrs Pettigrew & the other children who are with me are 
well, she sends her respects to you, & little Mary sends a kiss, 
though she would much prefer giving them in Propera Persona, 
being a kissing little girl. Please to assure yourself of the Esteem & 
regard of yours sincerely 

E Pettigrew 

Mr James C. Johnston 

N.B. Please to give my compliment to M^' Woodley & tell him I will 
write him in short time. 

[Addressed] James C. Johnston Esqr 
Halifax P. office 
N. Carolina 

^Philip Syng Physick (1768-1837) was a Philadelphia surgeon noted for his 
inventions of surgical instruments and procedures. A native of Pennsylvania, 
he had studied in London and Edinburgh. DAB, XIV, 554-555. 

^Charles Edmondston (1782-1861) was born in Scotland and immigrated to 
Charleston, South Carolina, where he was a businessman and civic leader. His 
son Patrick Muir Edmondston married the daughter of Thomas Pollock 
Devereux (1793-1869), a North Carolina attorney and wealthy plantation 
owner, in 1846. Crabtree and Patton, "Journal of a Secesh Lady," xi, xiii-xiv, 

^Caledonia plantation, located in Halifax County, was owned by James C. 

138 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

Ann Blount Pettigrew to Mary Williams Bryan a&h, bryan 

Lake Phelps March 9th i830 

My Dear Sister, 

I suppose you have heard of my arrival home, after suffering 
many useless apprehensions as to the difficulties we should meet 
with respecting having left a place infected with the small pox but 
fortunately we met with no detention, we seemed to excite no fears 
after we left the town of Washington, we spent a day at Mr 
Trotters — Mr Pettigrew was confined to the bed half the day, 
William Blount^ & a young lady from Washington came to visit the 
family but seeing our carriage in the yard, they inquired and 
understood we were there, they immediately turned back home, 
this will give you an idea of the fear that pervaded the place — at M^ 
Trotters we were agreeably entertained found M & Mrs Wetherby^ 
very clever, Mr[s] Wetherby spent 3 months last summer & fall 
travelling to the North she seems to have seen & recollected of 
what she did see a good deal, she there learnd to make a centre 
table, one of simple wood, painted black & covered with interesting 
prints, then highly varnished and rubbed, and it is really one of the 
prettiest & most interesting things I ever saw, I have heard them 
described before, and think them more suitable than Miss Smyth's 
elegant carved one covered with Albums, but enough of centre 
tables — 

Since my return Henry has been sick with the croup, Johnston 
has been very ill with the same disease which was very distressing — 
you have no idea of a child choaking two or three days & taking 
emeticks all that time, your children are so healthy you have no 
idea of the trouble of them — M^ Pettigrew has been unwell ever 
since his return, but notwithstanding will be obliged to attend 
Bertie Court next week — Lake Phelps looks very pretty — green 
fields of wheat as far as the eye can reach so luxurient and 
refreshing to the eyes when every thing else presents the gloomy 
aspect of winter — we also have green yards and fine gardens — 
which is not the case in other places. I have not taken a walk, 
except two morning visits since my return — I have not been off the 
lot for M^ Pettigrew is so much confined I stay in the house to keep 
him company — you know walking is the only pleasure in the 
country — I expect by this time you are willing to close this dull 
letter — and to relieve you I will conclude by requesting you to give 

our respects to M^ Bryan and except from M^ P the same with 

my love to the children — 

affectionately yours, 
Ann Pettigrew 
[Addressed] Mrs Mary W Bryan, 
N Carolina. 

The Pettigrew Papers 139 

^This was possibly William Augustus Blount (1792-1867) of Beaufort County, 
a planter who had been an army officer and a member of the House of 
Commons. Keith and others, Blount Papers, IV, lOln. Blount's first wife, Ann 
Hawkins Haywood Blount, died in January, 1825. North Carolina Star 
(Raleigh), January 14, 1825. 

'Thomas Trotter's daughter Ellen (Eleanor, Elena) married the Reverend 
James Weatherby in June, 1826. North Carolina Star (Raleigh), June 30, 1826. 

Mary Williams Bryan to Ann Blount Pettigrew a&h, bryan 

New Bern March 16th i830 

My dear Sister 

I received by friday's mail your very acceptable letter of the 9th 
inst. by which I very much regretted to learn the continued 
indisposition of Mr Pettigrew, I had entertained the hope that his 
health would improve as the warm weather approaches, & your 
dear children too, how distressing it must be to see them labouring 
under that dreadful disease the croup, of which I know nothing 
from experience never having had it in my family. My children as 
you say are very healthy & I thank God for it, for what should I do 
with so many little ones if they were as sickly as yours? Heaven 
only knows, for I have my hands full now. William and Mary have 
been unwell since you left New Bern. 

The Washingtonians had many & just fears about the Small-pox 
for it is a horrible disease, I was very apprehensive about our 
children taking it, I have had them all vaccinated, they had very 
good arms & were not made sick at all, a general vaccination has 
taken place & the small pox entirely disappeared. 

From your description of Mrs Wetherby's centre table I think it 
must be very pretty. I should like to have one myself I imagine she 
saw many agreeable sights during her northern trip, preachers 
wives have a glorious life, they are not plagued with the cares of 
housekeeping like we of the laity, nothing to do but travel about 
with their husbands living upon the fat of the land — I should be 
delighted to make a northern tour myself if hard times and a 
numerous offspring did not prevent me. 

I suppose ere this you have heard of the death of our dear & ever 
to be lamented Bishop [John Stark Rauenscroft], poor old man! 
even his enemies now will be willing to let the grave hide his faults 
& remember only his virtues and his fervent & exalted piety, our 
Church has sustained the greatest possible loss & one from which 
it will be a long time if she ever recovers — last Sunday the pulpit 
desk & gallery were hung with mourning which produced the most 
lugubrious feelings & most of the congregation wore crape to 
testify their respect for his memory. 

140 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

Ma' has been very unwell since you left here, I think she looks 
much better now, tho' very badly yet — Charles has also been sick, 
he looks very doleful indeed, I am sometimes distressed to see how 
very sombre he looks, he says he intends writing as soon as he gets 
Watson's acc^ Yesterday there was an alarm of fire in Ma's 
neighbourhood but which fortunately was soon discovered and 
extinguished before any mischief was done it was supposed to be 
the work of an incendiary. Gen^ [Durant] Hatch appears to be 
finishing his course on earth, he looks dreadful, has had the 
jaundice for some time & refuses medical aid, he says he is willing 
to die, I never saw so perfect a prostration of strength & spirits in so 
short a time in my life — 

Give my love to Aunt Pettigrew, remember me to Mr P. & believe 
me to be 

Your very affectionate Sister 
Mary W Bryan. 

N.B. My good man is at Court or he would send his respects to 
you — as you now will have much more leisure on hand than 
heretofore I [torn] to hear frequently from you I will pxo[torn] as 
often as I can. 

[Addressed] Mrs. Ann B. Pettigrew 
Cool Spring 
Washington County 


Frederick Biddle Shepard to Ann Blount Pettigrew a&h 

Fairfield June 20th [18]S0—' 

My dear Sister 

I hope you will not be surprised at receiving a letter from me after 
so long a silence. I have just returned from Phila. where I have been 
for my old complaint under the care of Dr Chapman. ^ — I have 
suffered more than you can conceive, not only with inflamation 
arising from the disease, but from two operations on the ball of my 
eye. I presume you have heard of my confinement in Norfolk which 
was the most tedious and irksome three months that I ever 
experienced. — I sometimes think I am the most unfortunate of our 
family in every respect. — I am the very beacon of bad luck — It 
appears to me that wherever I go misfortune awaits me on every 
side, and I do not recollect ever to have Succeeded in any one 
undertaking — I do not know whether my failures are to be 
attributed to a want of energy & industry or whether they have 
been owing to adventitious circumstances — circumstances over 

The Pettigrew Papers 141 

which I could have no control. The great anxiety of some of the 
family to get me to the western country has been most unfortunate 
& I attribute my late Sickness to the trip I undertook in Nov. last. 
My right eye has been so much obscured that it is impossible for me 
to read the largest print. — In fact I use only one eye. There is 
another difficulty, which if you are not fatigued with my disaster, I 
will relate to you. — Previous to my leaving Pasquotank I was 
involved in a contest that occured during my absence in Tenn: at 
the plantation. I made an effort to avoid any thing like a personal 
contest with the man opposed to me, until I had received such 
abuse as no man of feeling could submit to — If I had appealed to 
the Law it never would have wiped off the blow I received from the 
person alluded to aided by two of his negroes. — So I took the Law 
into my own hands and made preparation for a slight encounter — I 
was fortunate enough after horse whiping the Master and inflicting 
certain other uncomfortable chastisement upon him to put him to 
flight, and he took shelter in his house until I had left for the west, 
when he sallied out and obtained two writs against me, one for a 
common assault,— and another of a more serious nature. — I have 
not given myself to the authorities because I know if the Law is 
against me, I have the strictest justice on my side throughout the 
whole transaction. — I am waiting to see William. — 

I saw the Biddies in Phila. Mary, Ann, & William made frequent 
enquiry's after you, I also saw Fanny Lardner — ^ 

Fanny looks rather old-timey — They all wished to be remembered 
to you. Give my love to M^ Pettigrew 

Your aff brother 
Fredk B Shepard 
[Addressed] Mrs Ann Pettigrew 
Lake Phelps 
Tyrrell County 

^This letter is mounted in the volume containing correspondence for the year 
1831 in the Pettigrew Papers, North Carolina Archives. 

^Nathaniel Chapman (1780-1853), a physician in Philadelphia, was educated 
at the University of Pennsylvania. He founded the Medical Institute of 
Philadelphia and served as the first president of the American Medical 
Association. CDAB, 158. 

^These were cousins of Frederick Biddle Shepard and Nancy Pettigrew. 

142 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

Ebenezer Pettigrew to William James Bingham. a&h 

Lake Phelps July 6, 1830 

My dear Sir, 

Please to get my three dear sons together and communicate this 
my letter to them in any way you may think best. 

Your friend 
E Pettigrew 

My dearest, sons, Charles, William & James It is with the deepest 
anguish of heart, I inform you that your dearest Mother is no more, 
she closed her eyes in death, on the first day of this month at 
sunrise. She was taken in labour the evening before at sunset, at 20 
minutes of 12 oclock she was delivered of a daughter, shortly after 
which alarming symptoms came on & D^ Warren was sent for, who 
had been three day before thrown from his chair & so crippled as 
not to be able to walk, & but for that untoward event would have 
been sent for when your dear ma was first taken as I have always 
done before. Alas the last pulsation of your dearest Mamas heart 
had ceased to beat about 20 minutes before he arrived. She was 
taken so ill immediately after the birth as not [to ask] what it was 
or to say one word of her dear little infant. The seen after your dear 
mama became so ill beggars all discription. When your fathers 
greatest exertions were needed, and your dear ma would put her 
hand to him, his poor feeble frame gave way, & he was obliged to 
lay down or fall, and after M^s B[r]ickhouse had made her last 
effort, she fell prostrate on the floor & lay apparently lifeless for 
near an hour. The servants in attendance were obliged to be taken 
from the house that the dear woman should not be roused from her 
slumbers in death by their cries. O my dear sons your loss is beyond 
all understanding and your dear father who in his weak & 
emaciated state of health knows not how to to support it. He is 
undone for ever. O my dear sons you have lost one of the best of 
mothers & your dear father one of the kindest & best of wives. She 
is no more to guide her dear children in their path to manhood, and 
to hold out the kind hand of Love to your Father. But consider the 
anguish of your father, when your poor little sister Mary got up in 
the morning she got a brush and went to keeping the flies off her 
dear ma, as your brother Henry has frequently done this summer 
when she would sleep. O my children! My dear children. O my wife, 
my dearest Lovely Nancy. I am undone forever. I am your afflicted 
& know you will believe your 

affectionate father E. Pettigrew 
[Addressed] M^ W J Bingham 
N. Carolina 

The Pettigrew Papers 143 

Ebenezer Pettigrew to John Herritage and 

Mary Williams Bryan UNC 

Lake Phelps July 12, 1830 

My dear Sir, 

Consolation is not for me, my cup is filled to the brim. The 
parting with my children last winter was difficult, but the 
separation now from my other four, dear little innocent creatures 
can add nothing more to my agony. The sun has set forever upon 
all my comfort in this world. Alas my only stay, my all, is gone 
forever, and my house is left desolate, nothing remains but the 
silence of death. My wife! My dearest Nancy! M^s Warren takes my 
dear little infant, untill the fall when it will be able to be carried. I 
have sent my other three little innocents to their dear relations, 
will you my dear Sir, assist in the distribution of them. All that I 
can say is, that I wish them to be with their dear relations. 

Your afflicted friend 
E Pettigrew 


My dear Sister. 

I receivd with an humble heart of gratitude your request to take 
my dear little children. I cannot be more sensible of any thing, than 
the part you would exercise towards them. All I can, is that one of 
the greatest sonsolations I have on earth, that they have such an 
aunt, and a dear woman in whom no sister could have had more 
confidence, than my dear Nancy had in her. After consulting our 
dear Mothers wishes as far as can be, I resign them to you, 
knowing that they are in the hands of inestimable worth. 

' I am your afflicted brother 

E Pettigrew 
[Addressed] John H. Bryan Esqr 

Richard Muse Shepard to Ebenezer Pettigrew a&h 

New Bern. July. 17th. 1830. 

My dear Brother, 

I hasten as soon as I have arrived at the place of destination to 
inform <o:^ you of the state of the children's health, and the 
manner in which the bore the fatigue of travelling. Never has it 
been my lot to mark so much cheerfulness, and good feeling to exist 
among so many young, and of course restless children as was 

144 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

evinced by the conduct of yours. Henry and Mary were delighted 
and every time they saw any cattle houses, or anything of the kind 
they saw, or fancied they saw some thinking resemblance to 
objects of the same nature at the Lake. I was apprehensive that the 
journey would be tiresome, and to prevent that loneliness of feeling 
that is apt to oppress us I procured from Dr Warren two novels. But 
of these I had no need for I was so much engaged with the boys and 
Mary, as to abstract my attention from all other external objects. 
The journey progressed as you predicted, every body with whom 
we met sympathized with us, and as far as I could infer, would if 
necessary have tendered something more substantial than their 
sympathies. And would it be unjust as well as ungenerous if I 
passed over in silence of Mr Nichols family at Plymouth. If they 
had been [their] dearest conexexions they could not have been 
more tender with them. Every delicacy they could procure (except 
those you interdicted) were sought after, and everything that could 
please, were sought with as much eagerness as if it had been for 
their own offspring. This would have been discreditable to them, if 
it had been accompanied with an exorbitant charge, but when the 
old man told me that would exact nothing for the children, I 
thought that however destitute the higher orders might be of all 
honourable feeling yet still it was not banished from the world. I 
have dwelled upon this trifling incident because it is pleasing to 
notice such deeds, and because it was a manifastation of affection 
for your children with which it is proper you should be acquainted. 
Mr. Weatherby you have seen, and I acquainted with the children's 
health when he saw us last, from that time till now they have 
enjoyed unvaried good health, and good spirits. Mary has taken up 
her abod with her aunt, leaving the boys with us. She seems to be 
pleased with sister's children, and will live very happily. Though 
now she sometimes cries for her uncle Richard, and wishes him to 
take her to her papa, — yet — this arises solely from her change of 
home, and change of companions. Mary, Mama, and Penelope all 
unite in tendering <their> kind regards to you, and beg me to 
inform that whatever can be done to contribute to the improuve- 
ment, or to advance the happiness of your children shall be 
performed. Mama is now getting aged, and infirm but will 
nevertheless do every thing that is requisite for the benefit of 
Henry and Johns[^]on. Her health is much the same as when I left 
her. Mary Bryan has had a bad fall from a chair, but is now 
recovering. Charles is sick a bed in Yew York. 

Yours Affectionately 
R M Shepard 
[Addressed] Mr E. Pettigrew 
Lak Phellps 


The Pettigrew Papers 145 

Ebenezer Pettigrew to Mary Williams Bryan a&h, bryan 

New York Aug 24, 1830 

My dear Sister 

With this you will receive a carriage for our dear little daughters, 
as well as some other articles in it, also a box of toys for all our dear 
little children. Pray divide them among them all, share & share 

You have before this learned that my stay in Philadelphia was 
but a day & two nights, and the cause why it was no longer. I expect 
to leave this for Phil, on the 29th by which time D^ Phisic will have 
returned. Since I left my Prison I think my general health better. 
But I cannot feel a wish to be restored to health. The remainder of 
my journey through life, I view with the utmost horror. My God 
how can I travil through this wilderness without my dearest dear 
Nancy. No parent living can have a more tender affection for his 
children, and no children can have greater claims on a parent than 
mine But I know they will forgive me when I say that nothing is so 
desirable to me as death. O Nancy, Nancy how can I live without 
you? I have been keept alive in this giddy multitude, by being 
employed in geting the mementos of my dear wife. My God my god 
how does my heart bleed when I hand to the engraver, to the 
Printer to the coffinmaker, to the marble factor, these words. Ann 
Blount Pettigrew died July 1 , 1830. 1 am sometimes fit to say, can it 
be possible that my dear Love is banished from sight for ever, that I 
shall never more hear that dear voice, nor feel those tender hands 
of my dear sweet Nancy, that idol of my Heart. God be merciful to 
me, O wretch that I am. 

Inclosed is the Epitaph of my dear Nancy also of my poor little 
John. I had it printed that the engraver might not make a mistake 
on her monument also to give to a few of her friends. I am having a 
Mahogony case made for my dear Nancys coffin; It will then be 
/placed/ in a stone case. I have come to the conclusion not /to/ 
remove my dear wife, I wish when ever I look out while at my 
prison to be able to see the spot where all my heart is buried. I have 
come to the determination to remove my Father, Mother, Brother, 
(and sister Hannah, if it is approved of by her Mother) to the place 
where my dear dear Nancy sleeps. All these things may seem 
useless or strange in /the/ eyes of the sordid multitude, but if it 
gives me a ray of consolation, it is right to do it. No honours which I 
can pay to the memory of my dear departed Love can be too great. 
O Nancy how many hours have I spent in beholding you with 
extacy & delight? 

Aug. 25. 1 have not departed from my manner of living prescribed 
by Dr Warren at Christmas. My God what a reverse /of/ fortune! 
All the year, because I was restricted, my dear dear wife would 

146 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

have something prepaired for me that was deUcate, but now 
though I sit down to a sumptuous dinner, there is nothing scarcely 
on it that I can eat. I made my dinner yesterday after waiting for it 
until 3ociok on Irish patatoes, & squashes, with bread & water. No 
one cares whether I eat or not. Thus I am to travil through this 
dreary wilderness, and I am on my fifty sixth day of the journey. It 
feels to my mind as though as though it was as many years. I can 
scarcely look back to the begining. It certainly is the longest part of 
my life On this subject I could dwell forever, my mind is on no 
other, but I will conclude by sending my affectionate regards to our 
dear Mother, M^ Bryan, Brothers & sister Penelope. Pray kiss my 
dear motherles little children for me and believe me your afflicted 
& affectionate Brother. 

E Pettigrew 
[Addressed] M^s Mary W. Bryan 

Ebenezer Pettigrew to Mary Williams Bryan UNC 

Philadelphia Sep. 23. 1830 

My dear Sister 

After filling a small commission this morning from D^ Warren & 
walking to view the house where my dear, dear, Nancy once lived, a 
thing I have never failed to do every day I have been in the City, I 
return to my room to spend the remainder of the morning in 
answering your kind and affectionate favour of the 13th received 
last evening on my return from New York. It would seem from my 
letters that I am all the time in New York. I had been fifteen days 
with Dr Physick when he said I might be discharged. I then told 
him that it was my wish to go to N. York before I went to the south; 
to which he was much pleased as he said he should be pleased to see 
me after the space of a week. My sole object in visiting N. York 
again was this: When in that place first I had determined to have 
taken by the celebrated painter M'" Ingham ^ a Portrait from the 
minature of my dearest Wife, which I have had set in gold and 
intend wearing the remainder of my days. M'* I was out of town 
while I was there, and I left it with M^ Chester^ to have taken while 
I returned to Phila. and my last visit to N. Y. /was/ to get that dear 
representation of my sweet Nancy. But I was still disappointed for 
Mr I. had not returned. I had to leave it with a promise from M'" Asa 
Jones^ that he would take my dear Nancys minature with him to 
Newbern. I received your dear Husbands favour some time ago. I 
marked its resoning together with yours of yesterday with a melted 

The Pettigrew Papers 147 

heart. They br/e/athe a goodness of soul, a power of reasoning, at 
the same time a eulogy of that dear dear woman who my heart 
bleeds for the loss of. Yes I may say with truth. I die dayly. How can 
I reason myself in to composure? When my reason has left me. I 
know that I am the Husband of an angel in He/a/ven. I also know 
that I am on earth, a poor solitary, forlorn being, with duties to 
beform of a most imperious nature, without the power to perform 
them. O if we both had duties equivalant to all our powers how can 
/now alone, with all my energies gone, do anything I hope I prove 
my good intentions by my visit to the Doctor by abstinance, from 
anything that would tend to make /me/ worse or shorten life. 
Though death of all things would be to me the most desirable. I now 
promise in the most positive manner, that so far as in my power 
lyes, I will take every means in my power to prolong my life, which 
shall devoted to my dear children those sweet pledges of my dear 
Nancys Love for me. At the same time I must be allowed the 
privalidge of grieving for one [of] the /most/ lovely, the most 
amiable, the most worthy in every respect, of women. I had 
intended to have answered that part of your letter, on my 
convertion from the world, but my head aches & is so confused that 
I [can] write no more on the subject now. 

I regret to learn of the declining state of health of our dear 
mother. I fear her sorrows will shorten her days, would to God my 
claim in this world were no greater & I could see that great enemy 
of human nature approaching. Please to give my kind regards to 
her. A part of my disease is better, though I have no expectation of 
ever being a sound man. I have been quite sick for the week past 
with violent cold. I expect to leave this for Baltimore /tomorrow/, I 
shall stay there probably 3 days. I then proceed as fast as I can for 
my prison. I am very desirous to visit Hills[borough] an Newbern, 
and shall do so. But in my present [con]fused & agitated state of 
mind, it is impossible for me to make any arraingments. Br. 
William left this 4 days ago for Baltimore, I expect to come up with 
him at Norfolk. Please to remember me affectionately to M^ Bryan 
& all the family. Kiss my dear little innocents for there father & 
believe me your afflicted & affectionate Brother 

E Pettigrew 

Mrs Mary W. Bryan 

P.S. W^ Chester wrote the Epitaph of my dear, dear, Nancy. 
N.B. Pray excuse this miserable scrawl my head aches fit to split. 

[Addressed] Mrs Mary W. Bryan 
New Bern 
North Carolina 

148 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

^The portrait painter Charles Cromwell Ingham (1796-1863) came from 
Ireland to New York with his family in 1820. He painted "fashionable beauties" 
and such notables as Lafayette and DeWitt Clinton. DAB, IX, 473. Correspon- 
dence between Ingham and Ebenezer Pettigrew may be found in the Pettigrew 
Family Papers, Southern Historical Collection. 

-S. M. Chester appears to have been a resident of New Bern at one time; this 
may account for Ebenezer Pettigrew's acquaintance with him. In 1822 he was 
secretary of the board of the Presbyterian Church in New Bern. Carolina 
Centinel (New Bern), January 26, 1822. 

'Asa Jones was a merchant from New Bern, according to the announcement 
of his marriage to Sarah Bryan in the North Carolina Star (Raleigh), January 
10, 1812. 

Thomas Pettigru to Ebenezer Pettigrew a&h 

Landover Oct. 7th i830 

Dear Cousin, 

Since I had the pleasure of seeing you I have become a man of 
family I have now a local habitation. I believe I told you I was on a 
matrimonial course when I left you — I have succeeded to my 
heart[s] content 

The lady I married^ lived near Georgetown in this State. I have 
taken up my abode on the same place — She has neither brother 
sister father or mother, so that I have not increased my connections 
a great deal— I plant nothing but rice which is the only article 
grown in the neighbourhood, the gale this year had done us great 
injury & we shall make sorry crops. I hope yours will be better. 
Corn with us will find a ready market. I believe you send 
sometimes to Charleston. The merchant I bot from, told me he had 
purchased a cargo of yours: from which I judge you have the vessel 
you were going to build, completed. I shall have to purchase, until I 
get in the way of raising corn, every year about a thousand 
bushels — how would you like to send a cargo to Georgetown, the 
vessel could come to my door. I am now with Father on a visit to the 
place where I was raised, ^ until I enterd the Navy — he is quite well 
& hearty & desires to be remembered to you. I shall return to 
Georgetown in 2 or 3 weeks where I hope to hear from you. All your 
relations in South Carolina are I believe doing as well as people 
generally. The excitement produced by the tariff has caused your 
Cousin James l^ouis Petigru] who resides in Charleston to offer for 
the State Senate, not that he wishes the situation, but that he may 
use his influence to stop the wild notion of nullification from 
putting the State in a Situation that w^ lead to civil war or 
division^ — I hope you will approve of such conduct. There are some 
in this district (Abbeville) who say the Pettigrews were tories 

The Pettigrew Papers 149 

during the Revolution. I think this rather complimentary than 
otherwise for if there was any thing against the name they would 
not go so far back accusations — but this is as false as any thing 
that could be said of more recent occurrence. How are all your 
family? I observed by the papers the loss you have had to bear 
with. I hope that providence will sustain you in yr affliction & 
prepare you to receive with resignation the fate which awaits us 
all — God bless & prosper you my dear Coz is the wish of all your 
kinfolks in these parts — remember me kindly to aunt [Mary 
Lockhart Pettigrew] — father desires his love to her also 

Yours affectionately 
T. P- 

Direct to me at Georgetown S^ C^ 

[Addressed] Ebenezer Pettigrew Esq^ 
near Lake Phelps 
Tyrrell County 
No Carolina 

iThe lady was Mary Ann LaBruce (1793-1869). She brought "considerable 
wealth" to the marriage. Carson, James Louis Petigru, 182. The couple had two 
children: Martha (1830-1855), who died unmarried, and James Louis, Jr. (1832- 
1853), who died by drowning. Martha W. Daniels to Sarah McCulloh Lemmon, 
February 16, 1983. 

^The family lived at Badwell, fifteen miles from Abbeville, South Carolina. 
Carson, James Louis Petigru, 14-15. 

■^Although he held no public office after 1830, James Louis Petigru was a 
leading opponent of John C. Calhoun's program of nullification and secession, 
DAB, XIV, 514-515. 

Nathaniel Phelps^ to Ebenezer Pettigrew a&h 

Illinoise near Miscipee River [October 10, 1830] 

Mr E Pettigrew 

Dear Sir 

I have to inform you that my Helth is not good at Present and 
have reached within 95 miles of my fathers where I Shall not Stay 
more than a few days and then return home By the first day of 
december or there a bout I have [Seen] a grate deal of [illegible] on 
my Jorney Sir I remember my best Respects to and hope thise 
Lines may find you in good helth I have Seen the buties of the 
Ohioe and Verry Considerable of fertile Soils of a Luce nature 
Verry diferent from any Construction that you Can Lay on it 
without any Rock in it this night I am on the Edge of a [Pocasin] tin 

150 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

miles wide and about as Long and understand that ballance of the 
way is about the Sam discription of Country it will take me two 
mutch time to Informe you of all the Perticulars of my Journey and 
this Country to night but have wrte this to Let you See my friend 
that I am yet a Living "for man to View the wondrous works of 
almighty god is grate" with helth & hope I Shall be able to Inform 
you about Christmash of what I have seen for I have not time this 
night and have a bad opertunity of writing at all 

I have Had tiresome Jorney So far and think that wee are as well 
off as any Contry So far the greatest drouth that you Ever Saw has 
Taken Place in all the States that I have Bin in but this and Soile is 
So good here and Some Rain that they are well off here Excuse this 
Bad writting my Paper is [Ruented] and no Light to write by that is 
good here is a grate deal of Sickness in this Part of the World as 
well as where whe Live all the Springs is gone dry where they never 
was known to before I must Conclude for want of Light Sir I 
Remain your affectionate friend &c untill death 

Nathaniel Phelps 
October IQti^ 1830— 

[Addressed] Ebenezer Pettigrew Esqr 
Noth Corrolina 
Washington County 
Col Spring office 

^When Nathaniel (Nathan A.) Phelps died, Ebenezer Pettigrew was named 
executor of his estate. Other letters pertaining to the estate settlement are 
located in the Pettigrew Papers at the North Carolina Archives, dated March 
18, 1833; May 24, 1833; June 28, 1834; September 9, 1834; November 9, 1834; 
August 25, 1835; November 24, 1835; December 10, 1835; and April 20, 1836. The 
last three letters relate to Pettigrew's transfer of duties to John Herri tage Bryan 
upon the former's election to Congress and consequent absence from Tyrrell 

Phelps left a married daughter, Lethea A. O. Chesson, for whom he named 
his father, Joseph Phelps of Illinois, as guardian, an illustration of the lowly 
legal position of women in the 1830s. 

- - Ebenezer Pettigrew to James Cathcart Johnston unc 

Lake Phelps December 5, 1830 

My dear Johnston, 

This will be handed by Bob, who I have kept untill this time, 
having found him so good a servant as almost to think him 
indispensable. I am however, now stationed and have no farther 
use for him. Yes my dear friend, I have arrived at, and set myself 
down on the place of my woe. 

The Pettigrew Papers 151 

I had hoped from the comparitive composure of my mind on my 
return from the North, that my second arrival would be support- 
able. But my God! My heart bleeds at every artery. I am now living 
without the hope of one single day of comfort in this world. But I 
am in it, and while I live, I have most sacred duties to perform, not 
only to the dead but to the living. I have seven dear and helpless 
infants, (who to say are dearer to me than my life, would be saying 
nothing) those dear pledges of the Love of her whome I so much 
grieve for, who look up only to me their father for protection. Yes 
those dear little ones of my flesh must be protected so long as their 
is a pulsation in my heart. Twenty seven years of unremiting 
attention to my duty cannot easily be eradicated from the mind 
and my business which has grown up with me, and /is/ identified 
with me, can be managed almost without thought. My works prove 
whether I have had energy, but the presant dispensation of 
providence requires more than energy it demands a renewal of the 
man, a regeneration. My pleasures are all gone in the world, and I 
can but live for the duty, which I owe to my children and my 
friends. Let me give you a picture of the change. The silence of 
death pervades my house. I am asked to give out something to be 
cooked. I take my dear wifes basket of keys, I then have to ask 
where is such & such things, when I go to them I there see the hand 
of that dear woman. The food is prepaired, I set down to one plate, 
one knife, one fork; At night I set untill 11, or 12 oclock, I retire to 
my cell and what are my reflections? There is the Crib, where my 
dear Wife has nursed her infants and where but five months & one 
day ago, I expected my last would lie; now vacant. There is the spot 
where my three other little innocents were wont to lay, and where I 
have so often got on my knees & kissed them. Now a bare floor. 
There is the mattress on which this day five months the life blood 
of my heart ran out. There is the Beadstead on which I am to lay my 
weary limbs, where my dear dear Nancy lay in death. The silence 
of death reigns, my house is bolted, and no one breaths its air but 
myself. You will say that this is a glomy picture of human woe, and 
that it is a hard life. It is a true picture, and it is hard to live, but it is 
also true that I am alive. Yes my dear friend I know you will rejoice, 
when I tell you; I can live & can interest myself in my business, and 
can say Gods will be done; The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken 
away blessed be the name of the Lord. 

I hope I have always been governed by principle founded on the 
most mature deliberation. Under every difficulty in this world I 
have brought philosophy to my aid, but in the present heart 
rending bereavement it has been no more than a drop of water to a 
world on fire. That God who governs, and rules the universe, is my 
stay, that consolation, and hope which the world cannot give, nor 
take away is mine. I live under a full assurance of being again 

152 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

united to her whome, I so much deplore the loss of. Nothing but 
such a hope could make me continue to drink of so bitter a draft. 
I wrote by the last mail to M^" Woodley asking him to perform the 
service which I mentioned to you. It will take probably a month if 
you can spare him. My health is better than when I wrote you last 
from Hillsboro. I hope yourself & sisters are in the enjoyment of 
that blessings, Please to give my kind respects to them and believe 
me your sincere friend -^ 

E Pettigrew 
James C. Johnston esqr 

N.B. When M^* Woodley goes over to M^ Blounts for me I expect to 
send the remainder of the boards for you in the vessil 


N.B. I was exceedingly gratified with the affectionate conduct 
towards me and the general good character of my two sons at 
Hillsboro. Charles & William. No fait to find of poor little James, he 
is yet a child. 

[Addressed] James C Johnston Esqr 

Charles Lockhart Pettigrew to Ehenezer Pettigrew unc 

Hillsborough December 20th i830 

Dear father 

I have not writen you since you left <from> this place brother 
William wrote you about three weeks and he received your letter 
about a week ago in it you stated your feelings when you entered 
the house I could very easy imagine them if you had not stated 
them, because it is so different from what it used to be from being a 
house of joy and bustle to one of Silence and distress I know the 
contrast /must/ be very striking to you one who was before that 
time happy in the company of my dear mother and dear little 
brothers and sisters but now you are alone in that house I think you 
may be said to be so because the overseer will be no company to you 
one who is as much above him as he is above the negroes no one 
can form an opinion how much you will suffer during the following 
year the company you will have and composure of mind will be in 
your library and while you are read religeous books such as the 
bible and sermons and tracts Sunday will be your most pleasant 
day because your thoughts will be <w>holly engrosed in religion 
and will not be drawn of by any thing world-ly beca/u/se if you 
were to think and plan out things to be done <on> during the 

The Pettigrew Papers 153 

following week you had as well be haveing them /done/ at that 
time because your thoughts are entirely taken f/r/om /every/ any 
religious duty and put upon them it is in some part of the bible a 
person should on Sunday think of nothing but heavenly things it is 
very s/e/ldom that po/e/ple obey that sentence they think it is no 
harm to think of worldly things if they do not execute them the 
sabath in general is too much neglected by every one when it is one 
of the most religeous duties that can be perfomed and is thought by 
the majority of poeple to be the most unnessary duty that is and 
one day in seven not too much to be devoted to the lord on the other 
hand it is too little poeple generally dislike for the sabath to come if 
every person around them attends strictly to publick worship and 
the duties of the sabath when I look back upon the way I used to 
spend my sabaths I am surprised how I could do it with impunity 
from our heaven ly father when my dear mother would try to 
correct me every chance I could get I would slipout among 
/neg/r/oes/ and play with them and would think it very hard not 
to be permited to go among them and romp and play with them but 
my mind is much changed since that time by the late misfor/t/une 
which happened to our family and I hope for the better I hope I will 
do those things which my dear mother was so anxous teach me and 
anticipate her will as when alive and follow it and moreover when I 
would go to my grandmama's she would wish me to read the bible 
to her I never would do it with an unwilling heart but I think 
hereafter I will do it with pleasure. You said in your letter the farm 
was not going on as well as you would expect it you expect<ed> to 
raise 15 Hundred barrels of corn this fall I think that is a ver good 
crop as you was not there it could not be expect M^ Davis would 
manage as well as you would because he is not so experienced in 
those matter. There is a report here that the negroes had revolded 
in <new> Newbern but were soon put down sixty negroes were 
killed and no<t> White person was killed or wonded the pople in 
Hillsborough are on their gard there is an intended insurrection of 
the slaves about Christmas in this place all poeple are upon the 
lookout M^ Bingham is prepared for an attack the poeple have met 
and formed their plan they have formed twelve companies with 
about ten in each company a company patrole every night but I do 
not apprehend <every> /any/ danger. Pleas excuse my bad 
writing my pen was very bad and I could not make it better We are 
all well and send our love to you Brother James is well <at> only he 
has little twiching 
P [S] I am your affectionateson 

Charles L Pettigrew. 
[Addressed] M^ E Pettigrew 
Cool Spring 
Washington Co. 
N Carolina 

154 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

Ebenezer Pettigrew to John Herritage Bryan unc 

Lake Phelps Jan 23, 1831 

My dear Sir, 

I duely received your kind and consolitary favour of the 2"^ Ult. 
for which please to accept my heartfelt acknoledgments. I know it 
breaths the language of truth and fortitude, but my dear friend, I 
have no fortitude on that subject for which I suffer. I loved and 
always did love after the first three days that I ever saw my dearest 
dear Nancy, with a perfectly undivided heart; not only when 
compaired to others of her sex, but to all things and every thing on 
earth, my acquaintance with her increased (if possible) that Love, 
aded to that I was as it were secluded from the world, and looked 
upon her as necessary to my existance. Yes as literally a part of my 
essential existance. I know that it is unmanly to act as I have done, 
but if I have shown the man in contending with the difficulties of 
this world, in resisting and overcoming all the evill propensities, 
which man is heir too; I hope I shall be forgiven this one weekness, 
though it even cost me my life. I know that it is the will of God that I 
should be thus afflicted, and I never cease to pray for submition to 
his mighty power, and for fortitude to withstand this bereavement, 
that I may live to protect and defend my poor little dear children in 
this wicked world. I have the most /perfect/ hope and confidence 
in the goodness of my Creator, and that /this/ dispensation may 
be to me a means of everlasting glory, and of meeting my God at 
the final and great day of <final> account, with that peace which 
passeth all understanding. I do and always did believe that I must 
give an account to the Judge of all the earth on that day when the 
stoutest mens hearts men hearts will tremble, and when they will 
call on the rocks and mountains to fall on them to hide them from 
the face of their maker, who will do right and will then seperate the 
good from wicked, with that most awful sentance to the latter. 
Depart from me /ye/ accursed /to/ the place prepaired for the 
Devil & his angels. 

I have had an opportunity of realising my anticipation of the 
horrors of a sick bed, and can say that it can be better immagined 
than I can describe. On Fryday the 14, 1 was necessary to lay off an 
avenue through the woods. It was very cold, and began to sleet and 
snow, and before I got to the house I got a good deal sprinked, 
which gave me a considerable stiffness of the breast, the second 
day after I did not intend going out of the house, but after breakfast 
I was taken, with a very unplesant fullness of the head, (an 
affection I have had at intervals since Christmas week) and 
thought I would take a small walk, but before I returned I had 
walked nine miles, a part of it over an unleviled bank of a ditch & 
exceedingly ruff. I had a high fever that night, and have been the 
whole week confined to the house & for the last three days to the 

The Pettigrew Papers 155 

bed. I am siting up to day and of course better. My domesticks and 
overseer are attentive to my wants; but Alas! I want nothing they 
can give, and that which I do want is never more to console me in 
this world on a languishing bed. I knew my own disease, was not in 
eminent dainger, and did not send for the Doctor. The sickest day 
that I had he was at M^ Collins by invitation to dine as well as 
myself with M^ Fred Sawyer, ^ but I disliked to abridge his 
pleasures and /he/ came over at nine oclock at night, and was off 
again to M^ Cs as soon as he thought they had eat breakfast. Dont 
be alarmed my dear friends, I am not going to die yet. I shall revive, 
I shall /be/ a man again, and if my Chrisstian principles do not 
prevent, I shall grind some people to powder, or in other words let 
them alone and they will go into thin air, themselves, by that 
mighty power of evaporation. 

Mr Woodley has returned with the corpses of my dear friends The 
vessil has not yet been able to get up the river with them in 
consequence of the ice. The coffins were all rotten except poor 
Hannah, all which I had anticipated and had them made here and 
carried with them. I received a letter from Hicks & Smith dated the 
5 Inst, informing me that the Marble for my dear Nancys grave 
was done, that a vessil was engaged and that it would be here by 
/the time/ that letter was. Ten days has passed since that receit, 
and I have strong fears that the snow storm since that time has 
cast away the vessil. My anxiety for those articles during the whole 
winter has been beyond bearing. But I can only sit still, and keep 
my peace. I receved by yesterdays mail a letter from Richard, I 
could have wished he had informed me of the health of my poor 
little children, or our dear Mother Please to give my affectionate 
regards to her also to Sister Mary and tell <the> Sister M. that a 
letter will always be gratifiing to me, but I can [make] every 
allowance for situation. Tell dear little Mary that her Papa is 
mightily pleased to have so good accounts of her and that when she 
learns to read he has a pretty little Bible full of pictures for her. 

Frederick Shepard has been here, he changed his sulkey at 
Plymouth for a gig to take in Lieutenant [Frederick] Norcom for 
company. On his return to Plymouth he met with Frederick 
Sawyer coming to the Lake to visit his friend & acquaintance M^ C. 
F. Shepard gives him an open letter to me informing me of his visit 
to Mr C. and wishing me to be attentive to him also. I suppose give 
him a dinner of[/] the head of my dear wifes & his dear sisters 
coffin. My God! what does he think of? He is more perfectly 
wreckless than I ever conceived any one could be I think his frolick 
must end with a pistol. So much for predestination. Please to give 
my kind regards to all the family and assure yourself of my 
Gratitude and best feelings for your kindness 

E Pettigrew 

156 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

N.B. Please to tell Lidia her children are all well 
N.B. Mi^ Sawyer did not bring M^ Shepards letter but sent it the 
second day by M^ C. I read it, (I was then sick) and took no farther 
notice of it. F. Shepard is of all other<s> men the most mistaken in 
his friends. 

I have writen you a letter of blunders and know not whether you 
can make any thing of half of it. I know little about /it/ myself. But 
I did not wish this mail to pas without a letter. I know you will 
excuse its inaccuracyies 


I will write again soon 

[Addressed] John H. Bryan Esqr 
N. Carolina 

^This may refer to Frederick A. Sawyer, who was the son of Enoch Sawyer. 
He was attending the University of North Carolina in 1820. He represented 
Pasquotank County in the state House of Commons in the 1832 session and 
later moved out of state. Elizabeth Gregory McPherson, "Unpublished Letters 
from North Carolinians to Polk," North Carolina Historical Review, XVII 
(July, 1940), 251n; Cheney, North Carolina Government, 299. 

William James Bingham to Ebenezer Pettigrew UNC 

Hillsboro', April IQth 1831. 

Mr Pettigrew. 

My dear Sir — 

I am afraid James's disease is not yielding to the doctor's 
treatment. It is true he is not now, nor has he been for months as 
much affected as he was while you were here. Still the disease 
seems to yield but partially. He has never been quite clear of it since 
its return upon the discontinuance of bathing during the severest 
part of the winter. Ever since the beginning of December he has 
been able to hold his book & use his knife & fork well enough. This 
will serve to show you how much he is affected. He walks without 
any danger. The indications of disease are principally in his arms: 
and tho' he can play, eat and button his clothes without incon- 
venience, yet the symptoms of disease are unequivocal. I do not 
perceive that his mind is at all affected. He makes very little 
progress in learning to be sure: but that is easily accounted for on 
other grounds. Considering his health of paramount importance, I 
have kept him at home and had him bathed five or six times a day 

The Pettigrew Papers 157 

& encouraged him to take exercise during the intervals. My wife 
hears him two or three Uttle lessons each day — our aim as to his 
education being at present very little more than to keep him from 
losing ground. — Charles & William attend to his bathing, which is 
so managed as to prevent their losing much time. He is bathed at 
Sun-rise or a little before, again just before breakfast, a third time 
in the middle of the forenoon, and a fourth before dinner. In the 
afternoon he is bathed at three o'clock & at sun-set. His appetite is 
ravenous. We have to allowance him regularly; and he frequently 
eludes our vigilance, as well as that of the servants, & gets 
something to eat out of the kitchen between meals. His voracious 
appetite, produced no doubt by his disease & the medicine which he 
daily takes, is, I apprehend, the greatest enemy to his con- 
valescence. You would be astonished at the quantity of stale light 
bread which he would consume. The D^^ thought for some time his 
appetite might be satiated with that without detriment to him, but 
has found it necessary to prescribe a limit. I hope you will come up 
at the end of the present session (the last of May) and you can 
determine better by your own observation what measures should 
be taken. As to the trouble and anxiety which he occasions, most 
cheerfully would Eliza and myself undergo all & much more, if his 
health seemed likely to be restored. 

Charles & W"^ are doing very well. C. is making some progress in 
Geometry — He will succeed well in that branch. He has gone 
through Arithmetic in a very thorough manner. W"^ is too diligent. 
I am obliged to drive him to exercise. The health of both is good. — 
William's class has received some accession from the class above; 
and as these individuals, tho' unable to compete with the class they 
left, have been over the studies of W"^'s class, they have rather the 

The number of students is 57. — I am very full of employment. 
Two of my students — no[^orAi]repared for the Sophomore class in 
College — assist me with the lower classes. I am negociating with a 
first rate young man to assist me next session. — I regret to inform 
you that M'' S — my former assistant — is getting along badly with 
his school. — We are all well. Our children are remarkably thriving. — 
We regret that your health is still so feeble; but [we] hope that our 
God will sanctify this & all your afflictions to your best spiritual 
interests, and then you will be enabled even to rejoice in them. 

I am, dear Sir, very respectfully & sincerely yours 

W. J. Bingham 
[Addressed] M^ Ebenezer Pettigrew 
Cool Spring P.O— 
Washington C^ 

158 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

Thomas Turner to Ehenezer Pettigrew a&h 

Plymo NC June 23 1831 

My dear Sir, 

In the course my interview yesterday with Mr Bryan, I learned 
from him that you contemplated making your expected trip with 
our unfortunate son to the north, by way of the sea in some vessel, 
this summer: — and I come to tell you. That this will not do: at least, 
that it is my opinion, if you undertake it, you will heartily repent, 
before the voyage is ended, that you you had not gone by land. I 
come to tell you also some of the reasons for this opinion. 

1st you and your son, will in all probability be sea sick the whole 
voyage. This sea sickness is the most unpleasant discouraging 
desponding of diseases. It is besides a very sick disease — ; and 
(remember) it will last the whole voyage. 

2d The sea air is a damp atmostphere. This will be a very 
disagreeable feeling to you: but your son may not perhaps regard 

3 In this warm weather, you will scarcely find a vessil, free of 
Chintses cock roaches, bugs — These added to the dirt & filth of 
most vessels, will be exceedingly disagreeable, if not injurious. It 
may be injurious by depriving you of rest and pleasure. 

4 There is no shade at sea. You can find there, no protection from 
the sun. The heat of the sun is more intollerable there, than in your 
fields — If you go below, you are stewed; if you remain on deck you 
are burnt up. 

5 Either of these evils, when it falls upon a man in health, & who 
withal is used to it, is bad eno, and he can scarcely stand it. What 
then are you and your son to do, who are not used to any one of 
them. Think of the sea sickness; the dampness of your clothes & 
face & hands & that you cant dry them; the chintses, bugs, dirt, 
filth; the intolerable heat above and below deck; and that these are 
to be blended all together, & thrown upon you and our little son for 
10 days or a fortnight; and then answer me, if there is any 
advantage in such a voyage to compensate for this amount of 
human suffering? — I tell you sir, If you undertake that voyage, you 
will repent it a 1000 times before it ends — And this repentance will 
be associated with despondency, such an accumulation of ills, 
added to the sea sickness, will make you look a head with no spirit, 
competent to endure the whole, with patience for 10 days. 

If however you will go that way, then let me recommend, that you 
take some medicines with you. Coasting vessels are not apt to have 
them, and you know not, what you may want before the end of the 
voyage. Opium, I have read, & believe, affords considerable relief 
to sea sickness. Take some books with you also: for you will need 
something besides the conversation <in the con> of sea men, to 
entertain you, in the course of 10 to 20, or 30 days. 

The Pettigrew Papers 159 

Perhaps you will say, the sea air and the sea voyage is 
recommended for the health of my son — Then, let him in the 
summer enjoy the sea air in some of the northern ports; say 
Newport Rhode Island, which I believe to be freer from Bilious 
diseases than any other sea port in the United States; and in the 
spring & fall let him take the sea voyage. The weather is then 

And now when I come to say Good bye, my heart is full & my 
head empty and I can only say God bless you Sir, & yours 

Fare well 
Th. Turner 

[Addressed] Ebenezer Pettigrew Esquire 
Cool Spring 


John Herritage Bryan to Ebenezer Pettigrew a&h 

New Bern Friday, June 25, 1831 

My dear Sir, 

We arrived at home today about 3 oQlock, without the occurrence 
of any unpleasant accident. — Your children are very well, Nancy 
has never looked so well. — 

I have not had a return of fever & hope I shall escape it. 

The State-House has been burned by the most culpable careless- 
ness in one of the workmen employed in making the roof fire-proof. 
It seems as if our State has been visited by Providence with 
calamity. — The statue is irreparably injured. — ^ 

The portrait has not yet arrived, at least not as far as M^^s 
Shepard knows. — 

Mary sends her love to M^s Pettigrew and yourself. — 

Very truly Yr friend 
Jn. H. Bryan 
[Addressed] E Pettigrew Esq^ 
Cool Spring 


^The State House in Raleigh housed a statue of George Washington by 
Antonio Canova. The building burned on June 21, 1831, and the statue was 
damaged beyond repair. Construction of a new Capitol was completed in 
1840, and a duplicate of the original Canova statue was placed in the 
rotunda of the Greek Revival building in 1970. Cheney, North Carolina 
Government, 621-622. 

160 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

Ebenezer Pettigrew to Charles Lockhart 

and William Shepard Pettigrew unc 

New York July 27, 1831 

My dear Charles, 

I received your letter by the mail since my arrival which was 19^^ 
Inst. I was much pleased to learn that you were both well and had 
arrived to your pace of destination in safety. I had a ten days 
passage and was a good deal fatigued and incommoded on board of 
the vessil. I am almost too old now to undertake such voyages. I 
was quite unwell before I left home & am yet a good deal so. James 
who came with me makes a very good s/a/ilor, when he arrived at 
this place, he was perfectly free from any symptom of his disease, 
but it has returned and he is not so well. He is at home at the City 
Hotel, he called for Ice in his water at dinner as well as any of the 
other gentlemen. Though he is modest, and by no means pert. He 
likes Lake Phelps best. I leave this place today and where I shall go 
I have not yet determined. The wheat sold better than I expected 
105 cents p^^ bushel, but I did not raise a half a crop. My expences 
are exceeding. My dear Sons, I hope you have entered on your 
studies, with a determination to accomplish the all important end 
of acquiring an education, depend upon /it/ if that is not your 
intention, your poor wretched father, has sacrificed your dear dear 
Mothers and his own comfort to very little purpose. As soon as I 
can get James disposed off, if I should not conclude to put myself in 
hands of D^^ Physic again, I shall return to Carolina, this place of 
amusement has no charmes for me. I am weary of the world, and I 
can wish to live but for my dear children. O my dear sons let me not 
live in vain. Let me not pass through this world of sorrow and have 
it to say at the end, O that I had never been born, for I have no 
comfort in my children. God is great, and his goodness is equal to 
his power, he knowest what is best for me, and in him do I put my 
trust. Tell M^" Bingham that I am much obliged to him for his part 
of the letter, and that I never cease to pray that God will sanctify 
the dispensation of his providence to my everlasting happiness. 
That as to this world I am one of the most wretched men on earth. 
Give my kind regards to him, and M^^ Bingham and believe me my 
dear sons your afflicted but ever affectionate father. 

E Pettigrew 
Masters C. & W. Pettigrew 

[Addressed] Masters Charles & William Pettigrew 
N. Carolina 

The Pettigrew Papers 161 

Ebenezer Pettigrew to [Richard Muse] Shepard unc 

New York Aug. 20, 1831. 

My dear Brother 

On the 13th of the month I addressed a letter to M'' Bryan 
informing him, that on the ll<^h i had a surgical opperation 
performed by D^ Bushe^ of this city. I cannot conceive of an 
opperation being performed more skillfully and with more success. 
I was about 45 minutes on the table and 25 under the knife, in 
which time I suffered the most excrutiating pain. From sympathy 
my pain came on after I was put to bed and was almost insupport- 
able for an hour <they> it then abated, and was at intervals for 
about 24 hours, when they left me. To give you an idea of the 
success of the opperation and my good fortune as D^ Bushe 
remarks, the wound though nearly three inches long is almost 
entirely healed, and I was /so/ well that day & [hour] week after, as 
to put on my cloths (which was the first time) and walk nearly an 
half mile to the ferry and go over the North river to Hoboken, by & 
with the advice of the Doctor, as he said, that I might get a few 
hours of fresh air, which was truely acceptable, for there is none in 
this City & if possible less in the City Hotel, where I am. I have had 
every attention I could ask, and I hope to be perfectly restored of 
that part of my disease in a week. I consider myself very fortunate 
in determining to apply to D^^ Bushe in preference to D^* Physic. I 
cannot say too much for D^ Bs skill, kindness of manner and 
attention. Previous to my confinement I took poor little James into 
Connecticut to a D^ Vanderburg,^ who say he thinks he can cure 
him, that his disease arrises from an affection of the stomach. If he 
should not, he, D^ V. advises a voyage or two to Europe, which 
accords perfectly with my idea, from what I saw of his improvement 
on the voyage from Carolina. If /I/ have any knowledge a fine 
family and an amiable woman, <is> M^s Vanderburg, and her 
family /are one./ All I am afraid of is that James will exercise his 
selfrule, though he behaved quite well while with me. He indicated 
a great deal of mind in all his movements and is not put out. 
Though there is nothing like forwardness in his general deport- 

Pretty soon after I get perfectly well of the opperation I expect to 
take <take> passage for Ocacock and then to Beaufort and to 
Newbern. My object in visiting Beaufort is to contract with a 
shipcarpenter to build Capt. Dunbar & myself a small schooner for 
the canal, to Norfolk. I hope by the time you will receive this that 
our dear Mother will have received the Portrait of my Dear dear 
Nancy, It was shipped last week. Please to give my Love to our dear 

162 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

Mother, Brothers & sisters also my dearest dear Children and 
accept the affectionate regard of your afflicted Brother 

E Pettigrew 

N.B. I have directed this to Charles in the event of your absence as I 
have heard some one say that you were expected [here] 

^George Macartney Bushe (1793-1836), a native of Ireland, came to the 
United States in 1828 as a professor at Rutgers Medical College. He main- 
tained an active surgical practice in New York. Howard A. Kelly and Walter 
L. Burrage, Dictionary of American Medical Biography (New York: D. 
Appleton and Company, 1928), 180-181. 

^No further information about Dr. Frederick Vanderburgh has been found. 

[Dr.] William C. Warren to Ebenezer Pettigrew a&h 

Tyrrell August 29th 1831 

My Dear Sir, 

I reed by the mail of last Wed. M^^ Turner's favour communicating 
intelligence of your health etc. I am very happy to hear you have 
submitted to an operation and I hope most sincerely, it has proved 
entirely successful. The removal of the Cist will no doubt relieve 
your mind of much anxiety as well as your body of some pain — the 
latter I know you did not regard — Mr. T. informs me, that you bore 
the operation most heroically. I expected that, as I am aware of 
your decision & firmness. I should suppose before this you have 
recovered and I trust it will not be a great while before we shall 
have the pleasure of seeing you in Carolina — 

Capt Dunbar returned a few days after the date of my last letter — 
all well. The articles sent for me I rec^ in good order — they are such 
as we wanted — The book case answers extremely well both in size 
& quality. Accept my best thanks for your kindness & trouble — 
Capt D. took a cargo of staves down to the bar, for M^ Dickinson 
who was loading a vessel for the West Indies — I was at the Lake 
two days since & went to your house — Your negroes were all well, 
though some of them have had mild bilious attacks — M^^ [Doctrine] 
Davenport has also been indisposed, but is well again — he has had 
a dreadful season for ditching, but I believe his industry & 
perseverance will triumph over the elements. 

Mr & Mrs Collins left here last friday for the north— They go 
through Richmond where they will find Mr. Collins Sen^ who will 
accompany them to N. York — 

Mrs Warren was very near being killed on Sunday week — She 
was going to the Chapel, to attend the Sunday School, in Mr 
Weatherby's double gig, driven by W^ one of the traces broke & she 

The Pettigrew Papers 163 

was thrown out with her Infant in her arms — The Infant escaped 
with a bruize on the head, but Harriat had her arm partially 
dislocated at the elbow — she is now much better — 

We have been much excited here within the last four days, by 
news of the insurrection in Southampton V^i I dont believe the 
negroes here have entertained any such design — 

Mrs Warren begs you to accept her best wishes — Present me very 
kindly to M^^ Turner & assure him of my most friendly considera- 
tion — (in great haste) 

Your Friend most truly 

& affectionately 

W. C. Warren 

It is very sickly here. 

[Addressed] Ebenezer Pettigrew Esq^' 
Care of 
Hicks & Smith 
New. York 

^A black field hand and lay preacher, Nat Turner, led a band of slaves in 
an uprising in Southampton County on August 22-23, 1831. The insurgents 
killed about sixty whites before the militia suppressed the revolt. Nat Turner's 
Rebellion influenced southern states to strengthen their slave codes and 
mihtias. Stephen B. Oates, The Fires of Jubilee: Nat Turner's Fierce Rebellion 
(New York: Harper and Row, 1975; New York: Mentor Books, 1976), 78-112, 

Charles Lockhart Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew UNC 

Hillsboro September 19th i831 

Dear Papa 

Brother William received your letter of ll^h I was very glad to 
hear that you had recovered and that brother James was well and 
that he was situated in such a family, but I was very sorry to hear 
that he was so much hurt by the upseting of the cart and we may 
thank that God who rules all things that he was not taken from us. 
The Episcopal minister, Mr Green^ gave notice that the Bishop^ 
would visit Hillsboro about the middle of October; I ask your 
opinion about joining the church at that time <it> & whether you 
think it best to join then or not, please write me in your next letter 
what your opinion on that subject. It is my most ardent wish to join 
some church and fight under the banner of my lord and redeemer to 
fight under the banner of him who alone can give comfort to the 
soul. I have <a> very little prefference between the Presbyterian 
and the Episcopal churches, the only /difference/ is that my 

164 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

parents are in one, however I shall wait the arrival of your letter so 
anxiously looked for by me which is to contain such important 
news. By Religeon dear father we are able to bear up under any 
affliction whatever we can console our selves for the /loss/ our 
dear relations, our heavenly father (we know) sends nothing on his 
children which is not for their own good if he takes away a relation 
very dear to us it is for our good he does it try our faith or because 
our affections are to much placed on him. He who has God for his 
friend <is> has an unspeakable pleasure he is more than any 
earthly friend he can see into futurity and direct in the path of 
rectitude and pleasure all those who love and serve him. It would 
afford me great pleasure to say more on this important subject but 
paper and time will not allow. I am sorry to say that some of the 
boys who have empraced that religion which alone maketh rich 
have already or are <abut> about to fall, (I mean at chapel hill) O if 
they but knew the pangs they would suffer they would quickly 
return and that joifully. The celebrated minister which has done so 
much good throughout this country is again coming through here 
and then going to Chapel Hill. Not more that a fifth part of Mr 
Bingham's school are professors of religeon. it is to be hoped that 
as he comes through here he will impress the word deeply on their 
hearts so that they may turn from their sinful ways and live. Mr 
Mac Cever was here the first part of the session and I had the 
pleasure of his company several times, he has been to our house 
and knows you, he told me to send his respects to you. I have visited 
M^^s Scot twice since I left home; the family are all well; M^ Scot had 
his child christened the other day. There is a great rumor spread 
about here concerning the insurrection of the slaves, it frighted the 
poeple very much and it was <be> beleived so firmed beleived by 
the greater part of them that they formed a company and started 
off to oppose them but when they got as far a Chapel Hill they 
found that it was mear-ly <ar> a report; and they not only got the 
town company but sent Constables to summon men to attend a 
draft, the report originated <from> from the poeple of Wilmington 
send-ing to the govenor for arms. The rumor was that the negroes 
had burnt Wilmington and that a body of four thousand strong 
were marching to Av/a/resboro. Our /winter/ cloths are wearing 
out because having not had a ful supply of summer ones we were 
obliged to wear our winter cloths I ask you if it would not be best for 
our cloths to be mad at <new> New-bern and sent here by the stage 
you know that a coat made by a woman cannot set well and their is 
not a boy /in school/ from a distance who has not a taler made coat 
and I would not wish to be meaner clad than any of them and the 
talors charge so much here and the clothe also comes higher and 
therefore I thought it wold be best to have them sent from Newburn 
but it makes not much difference as I should submit to your better 

The Pettigrew Papers 165 

judgement. I can send my measure down in my next letter to that 
place. Uncle James [Shepard] gets all his cloths there and sent up 
to him and I suppose it must be cheaper to him please tell me in 
your next letter what I shall do. We are all very well please write as 
soon as you receive this 

I am your affect/i/onate son 
C L Pettigrew 
[Addressed] M^ E Pettigrew 
N Carolina 

^William Mercer Green, class of 1818 at the University of North Carolina, 
was a deacon at St. John's Church, WilUamsboro, in 1822 and became rector 
there in 1823. He moved to Orange County in 1827, serving as rector of St. 
Matthew's Episcopal Church in Hillsborough until 1836 and then as a 
professor in the university until 1844. He was elected bishop of Mississippi in 
1849 and served until 1887. Battle, History of the University, I, 339, 697, 789, 
836; Journal of the Proceedings of the Sixth Annual Convention of the 
Protestant Episcopal Church in the State of North Carolina . . . 1822 (New 
Bern: Pasteur & Watson, 1822), 3; Journal of the Proceedings of the Seventh 
Annual Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the State of North 
Carolina . . . 1823 (New Bern: Pasteur & Watson, 1823), 3; Journal of the 
Diocesan Convention, 1827, 3. 

^Levi Silliman Ives (1797-1867) was elected bishop of North Carolina in 
1831, succeeding John Stark Ravenscroft. A controversial figure in later Hfe, 
he became Roman Catholic and resigned as bishop in 1852. After visiting 
Rome he returned to New York, where he taught the remaining years of his 
life. Haywood, Lives of the Bishops, 91-139. See also DAB, IX, 521-522. The 
Whig (Washington, N.C.), March 12, 1839, and February 20, 1842, pubhshed 
schedules of visitations, including several to Pettigrew's Chapel at Scupper- 
nong and to Lake Phelps. 

Charles Biddle Shepard to [Charles Lockhart 

and William Shepard Pettigrew]'^ a&h 


New Bern, Oct. 1, 1831 

My dear Nephews, 

You will probably be surprised to receive this letter, but be 
assured that you have always been objects of lively solicitude to 
your uncle, tho he rarely has an opportunity to manifest his 
feelings. You are the children of a woman, who was adorned with 
every virtue that fallen humanity can attain — of a sister who was 
tenderly beloved by her relations, and whose untimely death has 
created a void in their hearts which will never be filled. As 
offspring of such a person you have, independently of your own 
qualifications, and youthful years, claims on the kindness & 

166 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

attention of those who remember her good offices, & esteem her 
virtues. As a friend, a relative, as the brother of your departed 
mother, permit me, my dear boys, to ask your serious attention for 
a very few moments. You have pubhcly acknowledged yourselves 
sinners, & have asked the advise of your father relative to your 
future conduct. It delights me to think that you have begun thus 
early to love & reverence the Creator. The pleasures of this life too 
easily satiate the most greedy appetite to be objects of zealous 
persuit; we obtain them to day & we throw them off to morrow, with 
disgust & ennui. Those who have been the most steady & persevier- 
ing in their endeavours after earthly happiness, have at last been 
compelled to acknowledge the vanity of their wishes, expectations. 
He who rises early & labours assiduously, will reap the most 
fruitful harvest, so he that bows before his God in youth & 
continues steadfast in the faith, will receive the brightest crown of 
glory in a future world. 

But let me beg you to be cautious & circumspect. Many have 
mistaken the influence of fright for the suggest[io]ns of the spirit: 
too many have yealded to the whispers of fancy [i]nstead of calling 
to their aid the power of the understanding. At Chapel Hill, some of 
those who <possessed> professed to be Christians have returned 
unto the ranks of the ungodly, & I dare say that they are much 
worse people now, than before their conversion. Why is this? They 
were excited when they made professions. A guilty conscience will 
rain specters, which cause the stoutest hearts to quail. The 
preachers also often seek to arouse the feelings, and thro' them 
bring a wicked creature to act without referrence to his reason; 
Talk to a sinner of hell & its horrors, get him to believe himself on 
the eve of entering that direfull place and he will make any 
acknowledgements, any promise to escape. But when the excite- 
ment has subsided, when he feels that he is yet far from the regions 
of the damned, he will go back to the ways of wickedness. All 
sudden conversions should be distrusted, enthusiasm & violence 
[c]annot convince the understanding, and that Religion, which 
does not have the understanding for its basis, is not a Religion fit 
for reasonable creatures. My dear boys, when a man is in anger, he 
is ignorant of what he does or says; as soon as the fit is passed, he 
feels ashamed of his conduct, & he will scarcely believe that he 
acted so much like a fool. A similar remark will apply when any 
other violent passion is operating on the mind. I hope that the 
Religion which you profess comes from the heart, I hope that it has 
proceeded from the gradual wo[rk]ings of the mind, & not from a 
heated & unhealthy immagination. I will /give/ you a test of its 
purity. If the love of God is always warm in your hearts; if when 
you lie down to sleep & when you rise to work, you have the same 
feelings of unabated affection for the Maker; if during the business 

The Pettigrew Papers 167 

of the day the trials & vexations of a school boy's life you still 
remember the Deity & still feel towards him as one should feel to 
the father who protects & cherishes him, your Religion is a 
Righteous Religion. But if when alone you forget him, if the 
persuasions of enthusiastic men, if vehement preachings, if violent 
revilings of the Devil, are necessary to keep alive the spirit of 
Religion, be assured that such a religion will never carry you to 
Heven. Retire to your closit, let no one see you but your Heavenly 
King, commune with him, examine your heart / heart & ask 
yourself those questions. Am I a sinner? do I love God? Is he a good 
God? do I obey him? does my Religion proceed him from gratitude, 
from filial fear? Am I in a right state of mind to think on so awful a 
subject? If these questions are answered affirmatively your Religion 
is a good Religion. But what Church will you join? by all means, 
the Epis[co]pal. That is the Church of your pious Grandfather & 
sainted mother. They were wise & virtuous, you are young & 
inexperienced; and untill you are convinced that they were wrong, 
you shoud walk in the path which they have made to keep you from 

If my prayers could avail on high, you should have them, my 
dear Charles & William; but I am too great a sinner to expect that 
my intercession could benefit any body. I can only wish you 
happiness & prosperity, both earthly & heavenly. 

Ch. Shepard 

William A. Turner to [Ehenezer Pettigrew] a&h 

New York. Octo 21. 1831. 

My Good Sir, 

I had the pleasure to receive your letter dated at Newbern 23rd 
Ulto. by the discourse of the mail and I rejoice that you, not only 
passed over the deep water safely, but continue in health. I need 
not now inform you how much I should dread the Sea, but I will say 
that as I heard the wind whistle by my window during one or two 
nights of the week which followed your departure I could but reflect 
upon the dangers which were probably at those moments surround- 
ing you, yet I hoped, as it is common for winds to be violent here, 
and not extend far to the south, that you were out of their reach. 

I am afraid of the Sea; and it always seems to me that when a 
man ventures upon it, he tacitly challenges and defies the power of 
his Maker, or, that he is forgetful of his own comparative nothing- 
ness. Nevertheless, if I had it as a duty to live upon the waves; I can 
but believe, that I could become a seaman equal to any common 
trial. You speak of the heavy winds you experienced, and you seem, 

168 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

while lost in the contemplation of your misfortunes, to consider 
/their/ attendant gloom, as resembling your broodings over the 
past. My sympathies in your feelings are as accute as ever, and 
while I would exclaim how comfortable would be a state of 
forgetfulness of our misfortunes, it occurs to me in the next breath, 
how miserable would be the refections which would lead to it as a 
choice, indeed they would be intolerable. I would rather hug my 
miseries the more closely to my breast than to forget my affections. 
If the sympathies of your friends could avail to alleviate your 
condition, and remove the depression you habitually suffer, your 
Sea of life would be smooth indeed, and fair would be the breeze 
that would move you upon it: But, they can not. The Power that 
gave us life has fixed his veto; He has for his own unquestionable 
purposes, (and it is to be ardently hoped, and confidently trusted, 
for our ultimate good,) decreed that Man, while in this world shall 

In your letter I read with sincerest concern, the heart rending 
cruelties produced by the evil of the whites and blacks living in the 
same community, and neither sufficiently understanding how to 

I coincide with you entirely, in the opinion that much is owing to 
the bad management experienced by the blacks from the whites. 
And all know that if the blacks had the ascendancy it would be 

Where is the remedy? It is resolvable, after years of reflection 
upon it, in this. In the promulgation of that principle which is 
couched in the words. "Do unto others as you would have others to 
do unto you." and until this shall become universally the rule and 
conduct of each individual. Peace & happiness will not fix their 
abodes on earth. 

I now come to the part of your letter communiting /the/ 
unfortunate situation of your son [Henry], attacked in the same 
way that James is. It seemed that you previously had a heavy load 
of cares; This addition to them is peculiarly distressing. But are 
you sure you do not do yourself injustice in taking it as an infliction 
upon you for your faults? Injustice should not be done to oneself 
any more than to others, and as we can not even peep into the 
purposes of infinite wisdom, and ought not to question his 
management of us, it would be a step toward consolation to submit 
and ascribe it to other designs of Providence than to afflict us for 
our wrong doings, especially when they are so small and un- 
important as to require magnifying greatly to bring them to a 
mark of compunction. 

I sincerely hope he may experience only a momentary duration 
of the disease and that he may fill, ultimately, the measure of your 
hopes & expectations of him. 

The Pettigrew Papers 169 

I have now only to add that no change has occurred in my 
affairs, and that I am still calculating upon working my safety 
apparattus into use, Some of the best judges of such things, in this 
city, have declared in its favour. I perceive by some inquiries of the 
Treasury department in the papers that Congress will shortly have 
the subject under consideration and if I can bring my plan before 
their committee fairly, I shall bravely undertake to show its perfect 
feasibility. As <good> sure a way to get at the upper branches of a 
tree, as any, is to cut away its trunk & have nothing to support 
them. So, — as sure a way to prevent explosion is to not have too 
much fire, & for itself to put itself out. when itself shall become so 
intense as to endanger itself blowing itself to atoms in every 

I am in good health, and am charged by Mrs. Street to thank you 
for your complimentary respects, and to reciprocate to you, hers 
with mine which I assure are as ever, and will be forever, most 
sincerely felt, & cherrished. 

Wm. A. Turner 

Richard Muse Shepard to Ebenezer Pettigrew unc 

NewBern. Novem 11, 1831 

Dear Brother 

I regret that I am again compelled by painful, but unavoidable 
circumstances to remit the intelligence of Henry's increasing 
danger. — If it had /been/ the ordinary disease, that /has/ 
par<y>alyzed his energies, and reduced him to a mere autometon, 
it would perhaps then appear, as if the desire of communicating 
was superfluous, if not improper. — But in addition to the enormous 
load of human misery that is inseparable from the nature of his 
disease, he has been visited by the fever, whose attack is extremely 
dangerous, if not fatal. As I wish not to inflict unnecessary pain by 
transmitting exaggerated /intelligence/ so I would not lull you by 
deceitful representations into a false security. — His danger is very 
great, and even if he should survive this attack, would not his 
frame be as shattered, and his constitution so weakened, as to 
render his cure permanent [sic^l It would be needless to say that 
every attention to restore him to health has been, and will continue 
to be extended, as long as he remains with us. I would not consent 
to write this letter untill I was earnestly /requested/ by mother and 
the rest of the family, believe to be your's truly 

R. M. Shepard 

170 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

[Addressed] Mr E. Pettigrew 
Cool. Springs 
Tyrrell County 
N Carolina 

Ebenezer Pettigrew to Charles Lockhart ~^ 

and William Shepard Pettigrew UNC 

Lake Phelps. Dec. 11, 1831 

My dear sons, 

When I left Newbern on the 4th i requested your Uncle Charles 
(which he has no doubt done) to inform you of the death your dear 
little brother Henry. O! my dear sons your poor Father has had to 
pass through another heart rending scene, that of witnessing the 
last agonies of his sweet little dear boy Henry. He was some time in 
the fall taken with the disease which your brother James had, and 
was taken with an affection of the breast, accompanied with a 
fever which did not intermit for thirty five days, at which time it 
pleased our Almighty father to require his soul. When his disease 
became dangerous I was sent for, and was with him nineteen days, 
under the greatest state of hope & dispair. My dear boys, the love 
which I bear to my children is beyond my language to express, but 
the mild, condesending, patient and affectionate conduct of my 
dear Henry bound me to him with cords, that it was more than 
death to break. But praised be God, I am able to say with sincerity 
of heart. The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away, blessed be 
the name of the Lord. The dear little boy bore his sufferings 
without a murmur, and would even ask me, when excessively 
oppressed with fever, if he might put out from under the covering 
one of his armes, before he would do it. One night while I & Jim 
[James Biddle Shepard] were siting up with, him, about eleven 
oclock, I was siting by his bed side he told me he wanted Uncle Jim 
to sit beside him, after Jim was seated, he called me to him & 
remarked Pa dont you want to go to sleep. M^ Goodman visited him 
twice and talked to him about his situation, and prayed by him, 
/in/ all which he acted with that composure which belongs to 
mature age. After one of M^^ G. visits he told me he was glad to hear 
<my> him talk so. O! my dear sons endeavour to regulate your 
conduct in this world so that when it /may/ please your blessed 
Father to call you, you /may/ see your dear dear Mother & little 
brothers in that world where sorrow is not known, and the tears 
shall be wiped from every eye. My dear little Henry was in the 
agonies of death for 4 hours, but retained his senses to the very last, 
and as long as he could speak he kept calling Pa, but alas I could 

The Pettigrew Papers 171 

understand nothing more. Not long before he expired he held up 
his arm & pointed his finger to his Aunt Pene[/o]pe, she went to 
him but he could not speak, when not long after he resigned his 
soul to that blessed God who gave it. I brought his pretious remains 
with me and he is laid with his dear Mother & brothers. My dear 
sons, by this lamantable occurrance my sorrows are multiplyed 
but they cannot be increased, my cup was full, and all I can say is 
blessed be the name of the Lord. 

My dear Charles, I receivd your letter on my arrival here. I 
cannot say how much I was gratified at its contents. My dear sons 
strive to enter in at the traight gate, and to lay up treasure in 
heaven where moth nor rust do not corrup, nor theaves do not 
break though and steal. If your poor sorrowing Father had the 
wealth of worlds, h[^or7i] would give it all, and would be willing to 
be turned upon [torn] world as naked as he came into it, could he 
have been brou[ ^orn] your age to a sense of his duty to his God & his 
son our [torn]viour Jesus Christ. But blessed be God I have been 
brought to a knowledge <of my duty towards him> /that/ my 
redemer liveth and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the 
earth, and that I shall see God. M^^ Collins has returned from the 
North. He says your Brother James is well, but I regret exceedingly 
to inform you, that he has behaved very bad. He has been very 
ungovernable, and cursed the family, refuses to go to Sunday 
school or church. The family he is with, is one among the kindest & 
best I have ever seen. I wish my dear sons, you would write me 
oftener by turns. Give my kind regards to M^ & M^^ Bingham, and 
beleve me your afflicted & affectionate father 

E Pettigrew 
[Addressed] Masters Charles & William Pettigrew 
N. Carolina 

Agreement between Jesse Spruill 

and Ebenezer Pettigrew a&h 

Dec. 22, 1831 

This agreement between E. Pettigrew of the one part and Jessie 
Spruill of the other part witnesseth. That the Said Jesse Spruill 
doth agree to attend to the said E Pettigrew's plantation named 
Belgrade, in the capacity of an Overseer, to be up late & early and 
obey all the lawfull & reasonable orders of the said E Pettigrew in 
the year 1832, and the said E Pettigrew doth on his part agree to 
furnish the said Spruill within said year, four hundred pounds 
pork, one barrell Herrings, ten gallons Molasses, and meal as he 

172 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

may want. Also at the end of the year for the well performance of 
his duty the said E Pettigrew doth agree to pay to the said Jesse 
Spruill the sum of seventy five dollars and if he approves fully of 
the said Jesse Spruill's conduct, he agrees to give him over and 
above the sum of seventy five dollars above mentioned, the sum of 
twenty five dollars. Witness our hands and seals this twenty 
second day of December 1831. 

E Pettigrew (seal) 

Jesse Spruil (seal) 
his mark 
Doctrine Davenport 

John Herritage Bryan to Ebenezer Pettigrew a&h 

Monday 30 Jany. 1832 

My dear Sir, 

I wrote you during the first week in this month, since which I 
have not heard from you. — The children are well — Mary & Nancy 
are in very good health. — 

We have the Bishop now with us, he gives very great satisfaction — 
he is plain, pious & zealous. Knowing that it would be very 
agreeable to you to see him at the Lake, I mentioned the subject to 
him, and he has very kindly consented to go down. — His regular 
appointment is at Plymo. on Thursday the 16*^ Feby. He says that 
he will be at Plymo. on his way to the Lake on the Monday night 
before, that is the 13th — 

You will I have no doubt derive great Comfort and benefit from 
his Society & conversation. — 

Mrs Ives, & one child are with him. — 

He requests me to say to you, that you may make an appointment 
for him to preach at the Chapel (your father's) either Tuesday 
afternoon or Wednesday morning at lunch <time> hour as you 
think best, bearing in mind that he is to be in Plymo. to preach at 1 1 
on Thursday the IG^h — 

You will be able I hope to meet him at Plymo. Monday night, and 
you had better come in your barouche. 

Mrs Bryan is not well — she has a cough which I fear is the 
commencement of the influenza. — 

Mi's Shepard and family are in ordinary health. 

Very truly 

Yr friend & relative 

Jn H Bryan 

The Pettigrew Papers 173 

[Addressed] Ebenezer Pettigrew Eq 
Cool Spring 


Ebenezer Pettigrew to Charles Lockhart 

and William Shepard Pettigrew UNC 

Charleston S.C., Apr. 2, 1832 

My dear sons, 

You will be surprised to see this letter dated from this place. I am 
on my way to visit your Uncle John Shepard, and from thence to 
the western district of Tennessee, where I hope to be able to effect 
something with my lands in that place. 

I passed through Newbern & stayed eight days with your dear 
little sisters & brother, they were all well. I received also a letter 
from Dr Vanderburg who James lives with. He writes me that 
James is quite recovered from his disease. In truth he gives a very 
flattering account of him. My dear sons, I was exceeding gratified 
to learn from M^" Bingham of your good conduct <in the s> with 
him, but I hope you will not forget everything else but your studies. 
I have not received from you William since Octber a single letter, 
and but one from you Charles, and in that you never seemed to 
recollect your poor dear little /brother/ Henrys death. O that dear 
little boy. How my heart bleeds when I think of him. But blessed be 
God he is gone to the arms of his & your dear ever dear Mother. I 
had wished you alternately to write your father every fortnight, 
and if you Knew with what axiety I send to the office you would not 
withhold your pen. With regard to your coming down at the end of 
the session I have not yet determined. Neither whether you 
(Charles) will go to College or not. It is of great importance in the 
event of my death that some one should know something of the 
plantation. Depend upon that if I were dead you would find 
yourselves in a very different situation from what you now are. 
Recollect my dear Charles, that you have got a dear little Sister not 
yet two years old. Who is her natural Guardian in the event of your 
fathers death? Her two elder brothers. If they will not come 
forward, no other person will consider themselves bound. O my 
dear Charles & William, in the event of my death, watch over, & 
guard your two dear little innocent sisters. Remember they are the 
helpless, they are the innocent part of creation, they are the <are 
the> daughters of your dear dear Mother, who had she lived, would 
have cherished them as the apple of her eye. Guard over them, 
watch over them & so protect the dear little innocents, as that when 
it may please your heavenly /father/ to take them from this world 

174 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

of sorrow they may be found fit to be received into the bosom of 
<your of> their dear Mother. My dear sons keep up that spirit of 
vital rehgion of which you have made a profession. 

I am now with all your relations the Pettigrews. I am pleased to 
say that they are very respectable, and would be a credit to us any 
where. Remember me affectionately to M":* & M^^ Bingham, and 
beleive always your affectionate & afflicted father 

E Pettigrew 
[Addressed] Masters Charles & William Pettigrew 
North Carolina 

Charles Biddle Shepard to Ehenezer Pettigrew a&h 

[New Bern] July 22d 1832 

My dear Brother, 

I received your letter a few weeks ago, & was glad that your 
health was good & that you found <your> the plantation in good 
order — 

I am better in health than when you left New Bern; tho' I still feel 
weak & prostrate. Lydia's health is very bad; I have tried to 
persuade her to take a trip to the West, but I am unsuccessful. Mary 
has recovered from her attack of bilious fever, & I think with little 
care will be as well as ever — Your children are in excellent health; 
particularly Johns[^]on, who has gone with Mama to Beaufort. 
Mama has been complaining, & she thought that the sea air might 
be serviceable — Richard has returned & gone down to Beaufort — 
Br John staid with us abut a month. I hope that you will not spend 
all the warm season at the Lake; I think that your health might be 
benefitted & your spirits refreshed by a little jaunt. To the south I 
would not go; for I would not unnecissarily expose my self to 
disease, tho' I might be sure that I should escape A merchant of N. 
York wrote a letter to Mr Jones, stating that the Cholera had 
produced a very disastrous effect on the business of the city; many 
failures had taken place & more were expected. I expect that the 
population of N. Y. is the most excitable in the Union; Philadelphia 
is quite calm about the disease, but N. Y. was thrown into alarm & 
confusion when it first reached the Continent. The reason must be, 
that the people of the latter city [illegible] evil & terrible & I suppose 
also that it was more liable to suffer in consequence of its immense 
commerce — therefore more excitement — 

Richard was delighted with Louisiana. He thinks of settling in 
N. Orleans, & I believe that he would make a fortune there, if he 

The Pettigrew Papers 175 

could resist the temptations of the city — Quarre? He gives a 
gloomy account of the lands in Tennesse; he could not sell them at 
any price & I fear that they will become valueless — My taxes were 
64$; I will not pay this sum often, I would prefer to give the lands 
away — 
Lydia joins me in love to you 

Believe me your aff Brother 
C. Shepard 
[Addressed] E. Pettigrew Esq 
Cool Spring 
Washington C. 

Charles Lockhart Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew unc 

Chapel-Hill Monday 6th Au^t 1832 

Dear father 

I have entered college and am about to recite my first lesson on 
ancient geography. I have taken up my board at the same place 
where uncle James boards and which is /the best place/ in the 
village it is a very good house and I <board> think I shall board as 
long as I stay here; M^ Bingham tried to get my board a doctor 
Caldwell's^ but his wife^ being sick <I cou> he could not take me. I 
am in very good health and have not been sick since I got clear of 
that coald. It is very healthy here and there are very few people 
sick, there is a great drought in this part of the contry and it is 
thought there will not be more than half crops made there has not 
been /<rain> except/ within a few days a sufficient quantity of 
rain in a-bout three months. 

I <shall ha> have to study very hard but neverthe less I have 
adopted the plan of not eating much and taking regular exercise we 
recite three lessons every day one in the morning and another at 
eleven O clock and a third in the evening, I /have/ but little time to 
spare. Uncle James is a very hard student he studies nearly all day 
and very late at night and I am glad to say that he studies to some 
purpose he about the best scholar in his class and it is very likely 
that he will speak the latin speach which is a great honour. When I 
left Hillsborough for Chapel Hill Mr Bingham gave me 80 dollars 
to bear my expences for the present session and told me if <I> I 
r/e/quired more he would give it /to/ me, but I feel a diffidence in 
asking or writting to him for money which I would not feel by 
applying to you and I being no more his scholar it would be as well 
for me nex session to get the money from you that is if it accords 

176 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

with your wishes it is now now about ten O clock and I must go to 
bed and I end my letter by telling you good night please give my 
love to Grand ma and <and> respects to all my acquaintances 

I shall ever your affectionate and dutiful son 

Charles L Pettigrew 

N.B. I here send you a copy of M^" Gaston's speech^ before the 
dielectic and Philanthropic societies. Direct you your letters to 
Chapel Hill. 

[Addressed] M^ E Pettigrew 
Cool Spring 


^The Reverend Joseph Caldwell (1773-1835) was born in New Jersey, 
graduated from Princeton, and studied for the ministry. He became professor of 
mathematics at the University of North Carolina in 1 796. Caldwell was elected 
by the trustees as the first president of the university in 1804; he resigned in 
1812 to devote more time to his studies and teaching and resumed the 
presidency in 1817. He served until his death and energetically devoted himself 
to the growth of the university. Powell, DNCB, I, 303-304. 

■^Caldwell and his second wife, Helen Hogg Hooper of Hillsborough, were 
married in 1809. Powell, DNCB, I, 303. 

^In his 1832 commencement address at the university, William Gaston 
denounced disunion and predicted the eventual abolition of slavery. The speech 
was regarded as one of his two most exceptional, and it "met with public favor 
to a most extraordinary degree." Battle, History of the University, I, 344. 

James Biddle Shepard to [Ehenezer Pettigrew] UNC 

[Chapel Hill] Saturday August 2/5/th 1832. 

Dear Cousin 

It is with pleasure that I set down to write you a few lines. I have 
for a long time intended to write you a letter. I am now in the Junior 
Class. The tutors hear the Freshman and Sophomore classes and 
the Professors hear the Junior and Senior classes. As I have 
nothing more to do with the tutors, we very often visit each other. 
Frequently I make inquiries concerning Charles, and I am glad to 
inform you that he stands very good and that he holds a high 
station with respect to his moral or religious character. I heard 
from Charles that James had relapsed into his old state. M'^ 
Bingham informs me that William studies quite hard. He is 
certainly the most ambitious little fellow that I ever heard of, 
which, I think, is very good, if not carried to an excess, for you 
know moderation in every particular is preferable. I arrived at 
Hillsboro on the day after you left in May last. I saw Brother John 
a few weeks ago. He has gone to Tennessee. His house at Florida 

The Pettigrew Papers 177 

was blown up by some means or other, no one knows how. He has 
some idea of moving from Florida. I suppose you have heard how 
fatal the cholera has been in Norfolk perhaps more fatal than in 
Europe according to its population. I am in hopes that it will not 
reach this part of the state in which I now am, owing to its elevated 
situation. I hope you will write me as soon as you can and believe 

Yours forever 
James B. Shepard 

Ehenezer Pettigrew to Mary Williams Bryan unc 

Plymouth Aug 25, 1832 

My dear Sister 

Yesterday afternoon I received a letter from Di" Vanderburgh 
/dated the 16*^/ giving me a hopeless account of my poor dear 
James' disease. I give you a copy of his letter. 

Since I last wrote you James has experienced some amendment 
of his disease till last week, when his mouth became suddenly 
enflamed & his digestive organs much more deranged. 

He is now confined to his bed and complains of pain at intervals 
about the region of the heart which produces a deep flush of the 
face & indicates the approach of spasms — I am begining to feel 
anxious for the result — I am still in consultation with Di' Bushe but 
our united efforts thus far hold no command over the progress of 

At the receit of this information you can better immagine my 
feelings (who know me so well) than I can discribe them & With the 
advice of D^" Warren I determined once more to see him if alive, and 
have accordingly set out this morning at 6 oclok. I take the boat at 
this place at half after 2. and hope if not stoped by Cholera to be at 
New Milford, Ct. by next thursday. I shall pass through all the 
infected towns, but have great Reliance on my digestive powers, 
temperate habits, and the mercy of a Good and patient God. My life 
is a great burden, but I know it is of the first importance to my poor 
little dear children that I should live. My health at this time was 
never better. I will write on my arrival at Connecticut. I feel great 
solicitude for & wish very much to see my dear little children in 
your town. Please to kiss them for me Give my affectionate regards 
to our dear mother your companion and my other friends & believe 
me your afflicted brother 

E Pettigrew 

178 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

[Addressed] M^s Mary W. Bryan 
N. Carolina 

Ebenezer Pettigrew to Mary Williams Bryan unc 

Lake Phelps Sep 27, 1832 

My dear Sister, 

I returned to my prison the day before yesterday. I found my dear 
James, better than when the Doctor wrote but still in a deplorable 
situation. He is unable to turn himself in bed or to walk a step. He 
can sit in a chair when taken up, and had improved very much 
from the time of arrival & leaving. His mind is perfectly unim- 
paired, and spirits unbroken. He is very much pleased with all the 
people, and they with him & are exceedingly kind to him. His 
character stands very high for talent, good humour, Tractibleness 
&c. The Doctor is satisfied that his disease has been brought on 
this time by indulgence in eating & that it can <it can> be cured. 
When he gets on his feet again, (which I /pray/ God will be in a 
month) the D^" will send him to Europe or some long voyage to sea. 
He, with myself thinks it the best chance to make a permanent 
cure. The Doctor as well as myself have not the smallest doubt but 
that poor James disease was first brought on by eating too much & 
too rich food. Pray my dear Sister, do not permit my dear little Girls 
/to/ run the like risk by eating. I fear they have the stomach of my 
dear dear Nancy their mother. My sufferings now, are as great as 
my mind can bear, and if they should take the disease I know not 
what would become of me. On my return I found a letter from M'' 
Bingham and James Shepard; both which are truely flattering of 
my two dear sons. No one can have a higher character than 
Charles. Praised be Almighty God, for directing me to so dear a 
mother for my children. Oh! that she could have lived to have seen 
her fruit thus ripen. But blessed be God she is enjoying the fruit of a 
short but well spent life, and I /am/ left a poor, miserable, 
disconsolate wretch, that I may repent of my past most awfull sins 
& prepare for that world where she has gone. But for the mercy of 
God, who willeth not the death of sinner but that all should turn to 
him & live, I should /long/ have been plunged into everlasting & 
irremediless wo. 

I regret very much to learn of the loss of Cousin Rachel [Blount^, 
in the death of Cousin Mary. For one who needs so much 
consolation as myself and who is suffering so keen an anguish, 
consolation in words cannot be expected. The Lord giveth & the 
Lord taketh away, blessed be the name of the Lord. 

Ann Blount (Nancy) Shepard and Ebenezer Pettigrew were married in 1815. Mrs. 
Pettigrew spent part of each year at Bonarva on Lake Phelps and part with her 
family in New Bern, resulting in an extensive correspondence. Photographs of 
portraits at Mulberry Plantation, Camden, South Carolina, courtesy of Mrs. 
John H. Daniels. 

William Shepard Pettigrew, the second surviving 
son of Ebenezer and Nancy Pettigrew, was born in 
1818. Photograph of a portrait courtesy of Mrs. John 
H. Daniels. 

Ebenezer Pettigrew's daughter Mary 
Blount Pettigrew lived with the family of 
her aunt and uncle, Mr. and Mrs. John 
Herritage Bryan, after the death of her 
mother in 1830. Photograph of a portrait 
courtesy of Mrs. John H. Daniels. 

Mary Blount Pettigrew, 1750-1786, wife of the Reverend Charles 
Pettigrew and mother of Ebenezer Pettigrew. Photograph of a 
portrait by William Williams courtesy of the Museum of Early 
Southern Decorative Arts, Winston-Salem. 




^^^-0jii^M^ 4 /-^ 


^> ^gU*^/,.,^^ ^X^^'"^^ W^A^v^ 'b^/W^.-i^ 

U.^ /.._ A..-^f^,^ UJ...:^-^^^ ^^^. O^^.^^ 

Ebenezer Pettigrew wrote this letter to his sons and their schoolmaster, 
William J. Bingham. A transcription of the document, which is in the 
Archives, Division of Archives and History, is printed on page 142. 

The Pettigrew Papers 179 

My health was never /better/ than at this time. Distress & 
anxiety of mind it seems cannot Kill me. I am condemned to live. I 
passed through all the Cholera towns on the road. I have lost all 
fear of it & am satisfied from what I can learn that at least V4 who 
die of it, die from fear. It is an awful disease. I had at New York, 
when going to New Millford, the premonotory symptoms, very 
marked. I sent for D^^ Bushe and got the necessary medicine, but did 
not nead them my system /& habits/ was equivalent to resist the 
disease. It is at Edenton & what I learned yesterday I suspect it is 
/in/ Scuppernong. I wish exceedingly to visit you but cannot tell 
how to do it. 

The week previous to my return D^^ Warren moved pack & 
package to Edenton. I have no comment to make on the subject. M^ 
& M^^ Collins are staying there also at this time. So that I may be 
considered alone. Perhaps the more weight of that kind I may have 
to bear, the more energy I may have. There is a Doctor taken D^^ W.s 
place. I have not seen him. I do /not/ care much for any of them, I 
have at last learned that they are but men, and as mean and 
ignorent as other men, and little to be depended on. 

I hope my dear Sister that you are in health. I regret to learn 
when at Edenton from a M^ Latimer that you were <des> rather 
desponding. Let me besseech /you/ to let no such ideas dwell on 
your mind, nothing can be worse. Our fears kill us. and if they do 
not they detress & make us miserable. Fear nothing. /That/ God 
whom you worship is with you, he has promised that he will not 
leave nor forsake those who serve & put their trust in him. He is 
able to save all. Therefore fear not. 

As respects Cholera, which you must have in Newbern sooner or 
later, their laws to the contrary notwithstanding, I would advise 
great temperance in eating, avoiding all fruit & vegetables, also 
exposure so as to obstruct perperation, with a mind <cool> cool, 
composed, & fearless. There /are/ great differences of opinion 
among the Doctors to the North concerning the manner of treating 
but not as to the manner of living. No doubt great numbers have 
been killed by them. The great thing, as a Physitian told me, is to 
attack the premonotary symptoms, that the cramp may not 

Please to give my kind regards to M^^ Bryan our dear mother, our 
brothers & sisters & Kiss my dear children for [torn] Hoping they 
are all well, and believe me to be y[our torn] affectionate Brother 

E Pettigrew 
Mrs Mary W. Bryan. 

N.B. Pleease to /tell/ Lidia that her three younger children have 
been sick but they are all at this time perfectly well. My negroes 
were a good deal sick while I was gone, but by good luck & not 

180 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

management, none of them died & there is not at this time one on 
the sick Ust, which is saying a good deal for 70 persons at this 
season of the year in a mud hole as some think. 


N.B. Oct*" 1, 1832 I went to the office in full expectation of a letter 
from some of my friends in Newbern, but alas! there was none. 
Pray ask some one to write by the next mail. A letter put in the 
office on Thursday I can get on Sunday My poor Old Mother is in 
usual health, but very dissatisfied & out of mind. Poor me. 


[Addressed] M^s Mary W. Bryan 
North Carolina 

Charles Lockhart Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew unc 

Chapel-Hill, Nov. 3d 1832 

Dear Father. 

I received your letter of 28th with much pleasure and was glad to 
hear that poor brother James had somewhat recovered from the 
unfortunate state into which, he had at length fallen, and I still 
hope that there may be a prospect of his recovery, though it should 
be slow. Your plan of sending him to Europe will no doubt be of 
great service to him, but worst of it is to get him with a suitable 
person or persons and they are very hard to be fou/n/d in a ship- 
crew, however upon the whole he will derive infinite advantage 
from it. I should wish to know whether the Cholera had commited 
much distruction among the people over the Sound and the most 
distinguished <victims> /persons/ that have fallen victims to its 
rage; it will however soon cross the Sound and ravage our whole 
country except in those places where it cannot go on account of the 
thinness of the population. I regret to learn the feeble state of my 
dear grandma health however her age will not permit her <my> to 
enjoy the health of youth she has lived a long life having enjoyed 
both the pleasures and pains of life and it begins to be time for her 
to think of leaving this world for another: Please give my love and 
kind regard to her and remind her that I have not forgotten her. 

You were on your way from Newbern to Lake Phelps, when you 
wrote your letter, together with my dear little sisters and brother to 
visit the place which had given birth to them and had souccoured 
them in their infancy and the place at which I have spent so many 
happy hours which never will be equaled again, I fear; and then I 

The Pettigrew Papers 181 

suppose they will again be carried to Newbern. I am very sorry to 
think that the Cholera will prevent my going home in the vacation 
for I should like to see us all together again after so long a 
separation but I hope the Cholera will not get their by that time or 
will have passed by in the meantime I shall try to use my time to 
the best advantage: and I also shall be as economical as is 
consistent, this session is all so a more costly session than 
common, for this being the begin I to supply myself with every 
thing and also I have to contribute to the raising of a monument 
over a fellow student who has lately die for I could not refuse as 
every member of my society has contributed to it and also other 
expenses. And I shall express my sentiments freely to you know 
that you will hear them. I am now in the first session of the 
freshman class and will have three more years and a half to stay 
before I can graduate and am under the direction of tutors who 
know comparitively nothing, there I think it would be best for me to 
go home this vacation and to remain / to remain home during the 
next session and join my class in in the Sophomore class the 
reason why I propose this is because the studies are easy and I can 
get them at home without any assistants and and it would save 
between <tw> one and <thre> two hundred dollars which is better 
saved than lost for those reasons I would prefer going home and 
stay for six months and then we can arrange matters to our mutual 
satisfaction. I was very much rejoiced to hear that you would come 
to Chapel Hill the latter part of this month for I should be very glad 
to see you. Please answer my letter as soon as you can, and believe 
me to be you most affectionate so[72] 

Charles L. Pe[ttigrew] 
[Addressed] M^ Ebenezer Pettigrew 
r Cool Spring 

Washington Co 
N. Carolina 

William G ^ to Nathaniel Phelps a&h 

Jefferson [Tennessee] Jan 7^^ 1833 


This will inform you and all inquiring friends That I am still 
alive and in good heath. I have no news of mutch importance to 
give you. Our cotten crops have nearly made a total failure we dont 
make more than an average of three hundred to the acre. This 
makes the times distressing to all who are in debt. The Lands and 
negroes in this section bares high prices Lands in this neighbour- 
hood from ten to twenty Dollars P'^ acre and negroes in proportion 

182 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

to those prices. Our cotten is only worth two cents in the Seed corn 
is from Seventy five cents to one dollar P. Barrel. Pork from one 
fifty to two dollars coffee from twelve to fifteen cents and Sugar 
from Six to eight cts P'' [pnd]. This is about our times here we have 
but few nulafyers and they are thought to be strongly mixt with the 
foul disease of Toryism and I hope that all sutch men and 
principles will not be treated with any good respects. From true 
Republicans nulafyers are calculated to sap and destroy this 
happy and equitable Goverment which stands unrivald in the 
History of Nations. Destroy this and freedom will groan Under the 
Yoke of despots and Tyrants. Away then with all sutch principles 
and thaughts to the nethermost regeons from whence they sprang. 
For it was the same principle which sprang from selfish disappoint- 
ment. That made the Devil in disguise creep into the happy Garden 
under false shape and delusive persuasions. To bring a curse and 
eturnal ruion upon the thoughtless and happy acupents of that 
blissful place of abode. Those are reflections that are sufficient. If 
properly applide to the present crises of our happy Goverment. I 
will turn if you please to matters of Smaller importance. Tho 
matters that afford us a gradeal of pleasure. That of conversing 
with a friend tho at a great distance and hearing from our friends. I 
want to hear from you so soon as you get this and from the 
following Familys and persons Uncle Joseph Wynne and family 
Jerry Wynne and family B. L Hathaway and family. John 
Whorton and family Asa Alexander and family Mrs Lavina 
Phelps and family Dempsey Sprewil and family Col Benjamin 
Tarkenton and family — But Joyce Hathaway that was in perti- 
cular. I want to hear from her and that she is doing as well as life 
can wish. You know how times was once. Give them all My love 
and best respects. Tell them I would be [torn] to receive a letter from 
any of them when any of [torn] take the time to write. I was at old 
friend [torn] the other day they are both in good health tho [torn] 
done a bad business on the Road they have [torn] their place to pay 
their debts and it is barely [torn] as it 36 36. 1 remain your sencer 
friend [torn] time shall close those Earthly scans. 

Wm G[torn] 
Jefferson Lin 
Jany 11th 

[Addressed] M^ Nathaniel Phelps 
Cool Springs 
Washington County 
N. Carolina 

'The letter is torn. 

The Pettigrew Papers 183 

William Shepard Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew UNC 

Hillsborough 15th of Jaruary 1833 

Dear Father 

With the greatest pleasure I asshure you I commence at this time 
to write you a fiew lines. In my journy to Hillsboro, several very 
disagreeale inconveniences happened, for when we arrived at 
Raleigh all the seats in the stage wer engaged, and so we could not 
go that day without hiring something, at last we hired a carriage 
and started<e> for Hillsboro about 4 in the evening, but we had 
not gone more than 14 miles When the cariage broke down, then we 
started to Mr Morear's which was about six miles and remained 
their untill day and then walked to Chapelhill, and their <we> I 
remain untill Sunday evening when I started to Hillsboro, when 
we wer within about one mile of Hillsboro, the stage overturned 
and hurt several of the passengers, particularly an old man who 
almost had his arn broken, I escaped without the least injury I 
arrived t this place about 4 Oclock on Monday morning, Mr and 
Mrs Bingham are very well, very fiew of Mr B scholars have 
arrived. You must excuse my bad writing for I have a very long and 
hard lesson to gett to night. Give my best love to Grand Ma and all 
my friende's and relations. 

Believe me your affectionate Sone 
William S Pettigrew 
[Addressed] Mr Ebenezer Pettigrew 
Coolspring Postoffie 
Washington County 

Sarah Porter Fuller^ to Ebenezer Pettigrew UNC 

[Chowan] January the 23. 1833 

My dear Cousin 

It is with great diffidence I address you on <you> the present 
Occasion, Not that I distrust your affection & generosity, nor that I 
have ceased to feel that natural & affectionate regard for you 
which I have ever expressed; nor yet that I have undone or even 
thought anything to your prejudice, or that could in any manner 
/render/ me unworthy of your kindness & esteem; but I am afraid 
you will not be able fully to appreciate my feelings or to judge of my 
situation — could you do this, I know you would soon have renewed 
in your bosom that tender regard for my happiness which I am 
certain you once felt for it. you know me too well. Cousin E to think 

184 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

me a hypocrite; and, I think, I am too well acquainted with you to 
believe that you will be regardless of professions which nothing 
but affection could dictate, or that you will turn a deaf ear to 
complaints which nothing but nec/e/ssity & the helpless condition 
in which I am placed could draw from me. If it were in the power of 
my brother Clement to befriend me, I should not be obliged to have 
recourse to your liberality; but you are aware that he is scarcely 
able to take care of my mother & himself, & that he is comp/e/lled 
to appropriate every farthing that he can get ahead of his 
necessary expences, to the satisfaction of his creditors. I have been 
obliged to let him have the use of my most valuable negroes to 
enable me to get provisions for my support, so that with the utmost 
economy, & the most prudent management of my domestic affairs, 
I can Scarcely make out to keep myself respectably clothed, in a 
few years more, when my little negroes shall be large enough to 
hire out, I hope I shall be able to live better: at this time, they are 
more expensive than profitable & serve only to increase the 
difficulties of my life — the <princp> principal reason of my 
applying to you at the present moment is to beg the favour of you to 
help me with means of discharging /a debt/ of about 20 Dolls 
incured for having imprisoned my woman Sarah, for impudence to 
me & for Violence offered by her to my person. I intended to have 
sold her, but could not get any thing like her value,: I was of course 
compelled to submit to the evil of taking her back to my <Servi> 
Service — you will do me a great kindness by enabling me to pay 
this charge; & /any/ other assistance you can conveniently render 
me will be thankfully received & <gratell> gratefully remembered 
by one who has never ceased to love you — 

your affectionate Cousin 
Sarah Porter Fuller 
Mr E Pettigrew 

^ Sarah Porter Blount Fuller was the daughter of James and Ann Hall Blount 
and was sister to Clement Hall Blount and Dr. Frederick Blount. She married 
James B. Fuller. Because her father was brother to Mary Blount Pettigrew, she 
was first cousin to Ebenezer Pettigrew. Lemmon, Pettigrew Papers, I, xvi. 

James Biddle Shepard to William Shepard Pettigrew UNC 

[Chapel Hill] January 26th i833 

Dear William 

I received your letter a few days ago, and was sorry to hear that 
you had so bad a journey from this place to Hillsborough. You 
mentioned that you never felt so bad as you have since your return 

The Pettigrew Papers 185 

to Hillsboro. But I imagine that you have felt Uttle, very Httle in 
comparison with what I have. I have tried but in vain to throw off 
the gloom & melancholy which seems to torture my very existence. 
I am disturbed in my solitary walks by day, I am haunted in my 
dreams by night. But at last I have found a remedy. Study, hard, 
close, persevering industry, alone will assist one. I would advise 
you to read the life of D^ Goldsmith. You will see that his life was 
but one continued scene of hardships & privations. Read also his 
works, particularly his poetical ones & they will dispel all your 
melancholy. For it has been said with truth that poetry has the 
power of softening the heart of man. Which we see from the 
following sentence, 

"Say, Heavenly Muse, their youthful fray's rehearse. 
Begin, Ye Daughters of Immortal verse. 
Exulting rocks have own'd the power of song 
And rivers listened as they flow'd along." 

Where we see that not only man, but even rocks have own'd the 
power of song. You are now just (as it were) commencing life. You 
have every prospect before you & believe me, when I tell you, that I 
have an interest in your welfare. I hope you will study your books 
hard & if you have time to read, I would advise you to read the 
following, as they are the best that I know of in /the/ English 
Language. The best Historical Works are Rollin, Hume, Goldsmith, 
Ireland, and a few others. The best poetical works, are Goldsmith, 
Dryden, Pope, &c, although I by no means advise you to neglect 
your studies to read any of them. But read them when you are at 
leisure & have nothing to occupy you. I hope you'll take this advice 
as coming from one that has a sincere affection for you & who 
wishes for your good. It always gives me the greatest pleasure to 
hear from you. You must write me often & write long letters. Give 
my respects to M^ Bingham & his lady. You must answer this letter 
immediately, and Believe me. 

Your most Affectionate Uncle 
James B Shepard 

P.S. Be certain to assure M^^ Bingham & his Lady of my high 
respect & esteem, 

Your most Affectionate Uncle 
James B Shepard 
[Addressed] My William Pettigrew 


186 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

[Dr.] Frederick Vanderburgh to Ehenezer Pettigrew unc 

New York March 8th i833 

My dear sir 

The day before your letter of the 23 Ult reached me, I was advised 
by my brother that the approach of spring gradually reproduced 
James's infirmity; & wrote immediately in reply, to have him sent 
to New York and I am now making enquiries for a suitabl man for 
him to take a voyage with. — 

As soon as he arrives I will inform you of his condition & 
prospects & as soon as I can find a man, with whom I should be 
willing to entrust my own child, I shall send him to sea — The finest 
men & finest ships go to Liverpool & London & I think I should 
prefer that voyage 

Very sincerely your friend 
F Vanderburgh 
[Addressed^^ E Pettigrew Esqr 
Cool Spring 
Washington County 
N Carolina 

Ehenezer Pettigrew to William Shepard Pettigrew unc 

Lake Phelps March 15, 1833 

My dear William 

I received your letter shortly after your arrival at Hillsboro and 
was very much pleased to learn after the accidents which had 
occured to you, that you had nevertheless reached home without 
any serious injury to you. My son you have need to be thankful to 
your heavenly father for his kind protection of you, and of all other 
things you should not forget the author of your being, but pray to 
him for that guidance through life which will lead to a happy issue 
into eternity. I would have writen you long since, but my business 
has been so constant & pressing as /to/ oblige me to neglect almost 
all my friends. I hope however to /be/ more at leasure in a few 
weeks, so as to enable me to visit your dear little sisters & brother & 

M^ [George] Jones & your Brother Charles are with me and 
geting along very well. Charles is attending sufficiently to his 
studies, and thinks he will be fully prepared for his class, by the 
time you return from Hillsboro, so as to go with you to the North to 
see your brother James, and then to accompany you to the Round 
Hill school,^ the place which I think of sending you to next. I hope 
my son, that you do not study to intently, but that you pay that 

The Pettigrew Papers 187 

attention which will /be/ sufficient to get your lessons well, and 
that you will be able to make a respectable entry at the above shool. 
I have not heard anything by letters from James since you were 
here, but I am told that he is now perfectly well. I pray God he may 
continue so. Your poor old Grandmother Pettigrew is tolerable well 
but exceedingly feble. 

My business is progressing very well. I have hardly had a sick 
person on the land since you left, and my own health was never 
better. The wheat is very promising & in another week I shall begin 
to plant corn, for which I am in full readiness. M^ [Nathaniel] 
Brickhouse will begin week after next on a large Barn at Belgrade. 

I hope my dear son you conduct yourself with strict propriety to 
Mr & Mrs Bingham, believe me they are both your friends as they 
are mine. Give my best respects to them & tell them that I had the 
pleasure of Judge Norwoods^ company two days last week He was 
tolerable well, except one day he walked too far. M^ Jones & your 
Brother send their love to you & believe me to be your affectionate 

E Pettigrew 

N.B. Write me soon, & let me know how you come on 

March 17, Mike at your Grandmmas died last. He had been ill ten 
days. The Doctor as well as all others who saw him believed that he 
was injured by some of his own misconduct, but he could not be 
induced to tell any thing. 

[Addressed] M^ William S. Pettigrew 
North Carolina 

^ Round Hill School was a boys' school founded by the historian George 
Bancroft and Joseph Green Cogswell at Northampton, Massachusetts, in 1823. 
After eight years Bancroft sold his interest to Cogswell, who was forced to give 
up the school entirely in 1834 for financial reasons. DAB, I, 656. Cogswell then 
moved to Raleigh, where he became rector of the Episcopal School for Boys. 
Coon, North Carolina Schools and Academies, 537-538. 

^William Norwood (1767-1842) of Hillsborough served as a superior court 
judge from 1820 to 1836. Hamilton and Williams, Graham Papers, I, 459n. 

[Dr.] William C. Warren to Ebenezer Pettigrew UNC 

Edenton, 20th April 1833 

My Dear Friend — 

I have not had the pleasure of receiving a letter from you for some 
time, though I have frequently heard of you through others — I 
suppose your business occupies nearly the whole of your time, 

188 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

which is always a vaHd excuse for neglecting a correspondence of 
friendship — I however shall be very happy to receive a line from 
you when you can conveniently write. — 

Last week was quite an interesting period here — M^' [William] 
Gaston, M^ [Gavin] Hogg & M^ [James] Iredell were in attendance 
on this Court, and all three of them were employed in the suit of 
Moor[s] against M^" Collins — M^ Gaston made a very fine speech 
and I thought would certainly gain the cause, but he failed to do so. 
The jury found for Moor[s], and the case is again carried to the 
Supreme Court. — M>* Gaston is no doubt one of the first men in the 
Country. M^ Hogg disappointed me — he has no eloquence, and 
there is something about him extremely forbidding and un- 
pleasant. Mr Wni Shepard was here also — his health is entirely 
reestablish^, and he is another person by it — he is really a very 
social & agreeable man. He is a candidate for Congress again and 
will certainly be elected — 

I reed my due bill by M^ [Frederick] Norcom — My collections in 
Tyrrell have been so slow, that I have not found it convenient to 
pay you the balance on my note yet. I hope it will not be long before 
I can liquidate the debt. — 

Mrs Warren and our Children are in the enjoyment of very good 
health — Mrs W. sends her best respects to you, and we both desire to 
be very kindly remembered to your Mother — 

I am very sincerely your friend — 

W. C. Warren 

P.S. I send you a box of very fine shaving soap You must put a 
small quantity on your face with your finger & then use the 
brush— I also send you a very neat pocket knife — both of which, 
you will receive as marks o[f] friendship — 

[Addressed] E. Pettigrew Esqr 
Lake Phelps 

Sarah Porter Fuller to Ehenezer Pettigrew UNC 

Chowan May 3L 1833 

My Dear Cousin 

it is now about a month since I had the pleasure to receive your 
kind letter with its contents, for which I return you a thousand 
thanks: I know I ought to have written you sooner, but I have no 
good accommodation for writing, and if I had, it is a hard duty for 
me to perform having been so long out of the habit of writing — I 
hope it will not be long before I shall be so happy as to see you: 

The Pettigrew Papers 189 

Indeed it would give me very great happiness: Do if you ever come 
near me come and see me; you cannot imagine how much pleasure 
a visit from you would afford me. Mother and Clement are both 
well & much engaged — Brother Clement has the prospect of a fine 
little crop & will make enough to make them comfortable, if no 
disaster occurs to frustrate his labours, they send their love to 
you — please to give my love to Aunt Pettigrew accept of my sincere 
wishes for your health and happiness; and for the prosperity of 
your dear little children, & believe me /to/ remain your affectionate 
cousin — 

Sarah Porter Fuller 
[Addressed] Ebenezer Pettigrew Esq"^ 
Tyrrell County 
Lake Phelps 

Hicks and Smith to Ebenezer Pettigrew a&h 

New York June 8th i833 
E Pettigrew Esq 

Dear Sir 

We enclose your sales of Corn rec<i pr Sch^ Lady of the Lake 
netting $1308'78/ioo — On taking out the Corn it was discovered after 
700 bus. were discharged, that the balance of the Cargo was 
considerably injured by mould and dampness — The purchaser 
declined taking any more of it except at a reduction in price, and we 
eventually induced him to take it at 65<P pr bushel, except 28 bus 
which was very much injured, and sold at 25<P pr bushel — We could 
have put it in store and had it dried, but the expense on it would 
have been but little, if anything short of five cents pr bus. and as 
the mould, could not be got out of it, it would never have brought 
the price of sound Corn. The damage was caused by the leaking of 
the vessel, and if the passage had been a long one most of the cargo 
would have been spoiled — The Captain has had the vessel caulked 
and he thinks she is now tight — We have shipped the five bbls wine 
to New Orleans as you directed — We will have the books bound and 
send them by the next return of the vessel in the amount of J. H. 
Bryans account $10.5iVioo we have charged to you as you 
directed — We paid on the 1st inst Doctor Vanderberg's order for 
$34295/100 which we have charged to your account — We have 
procured for you two Terrier Dogs male and female, they are both 
said to be of a good breed, and to be excellent rat catchers — 

The quantity of wheat in market is too small, to admit of an 
extensive business, North Carolina of good quality would bring 

190 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

118''' to 120''^ — The first of the new Crop will be much wanted, and 
will sell well — The price of Corn has declined a little the last few 
days, North Carolina of the usual quality would bring 66*^ to 67^^ — 
such as yours would bring about 69*^ — we enclose a bill of medicines, 
which we are assured are all of the very best quality — 

Yours with respect 
Hicks & Smith 
[Addressed] E Petti grew Esq^ 

Cool Spring "^ 

N. Carolina 

Charles Biddle Shepard to Ebenezer Pettigrew a&h 

New Berne June 9th i833 

My dear brother, 

I am on the eve of starting for Jones-Court, & therefore shall not 
be able to write a long letter. Johnstone has been unwell for some 
time; he is walking about, but he has taken a considerable quantity 
of physic which has not benefitted him much; his looks too prove 
that the little fellow is labouring under disease, & he is very fretful, 
another evidence that he is sick — Mama desired me to give you this 
information, in order that you might consider whether something 
can't be done for the improvement of his health; my own opinion is 
that the child is kept too confined, & that traveling would be of 
service. I however do not presume to advise. It grieves me to see a 
boy of so much genius appear to droop at so early a period of life; & I 
can't help from entertaining the belief that, if he is spared, & 
proper attention is paid to his education, he will become an 
extraordinary man — 

If you are not too busy, it would be advisable to come over & see 

Give our love to George [L. Jones\ Tell him that his Sister and 
myself often think & talk of him — His continued silence is 
incomprehensible. Mrs Bryan & Mary have gone to the Conven- 
tion. ^ Mary & Nancy are in excellent health; I have never seen the 
latter look so well & so beautiful 

Give my love to Charles, & believe me your aff. broth[er] 

C. Shepard 

Mama has been & is now quite sick. 

[Addressed] E. Pettigrew Esq. 
Cool Spring 
Washington Co. 

The Pettigrew Papers 191 

^The annual convention of the Protestant Episcopal Diocese of North 
Carolina in 1833 was held May 29-June 3 in Immanuel Church, Warrenton. 
Journal of the Diocesan Convention, 1833, [1]. 

Ehenezer Pettigrew to William Shepard Pettigrew UNC 

Lake Phelps June 10, 1833 

My dear William 

Though I hope to see you in the last of this month, I write you a 
few lines in direction. I wish you to bring with you all the books 
that are with you of any sort. Your Brother C[/i]arles says that you 
can leave Hillsboro on the 20th or 21st of this month, as an 
examination of you will not take place. You will take the stage for 
Newbern; be sure you engage your seat in time. You will stay at 
Newbern with your dear sisters & brother untill Fryday the twenty 
eighth, when you will take the stage for Plymouth where you will 
find my Baruch to bring you home. 

Give my kind regards to M^ and M^s Bingham & tell M^ B. that I 
regret very much not having the pleasure of a visit from him, and 
that I will write him in answer to his last letter in a few weeks. Also 
ask him to furnish you with as much money as will pay your way 
home, and let me know my arrears to him & I will send him a 
<check> draft for it on New York. 

My dear Child you are about to leave the place where you have 
been three years and a half, Pray leave it with good will towards all 
and a display of those feelings which becomes a Christian. If you 
have had any unpleasant feeling to any, let them be buried, and 
carry your resentment no farther. O my son I have to repent to the 
last day of my life that I have carried my resentments so far, they 
have been too far, too far. But blessed be God I have conquered my 
self, and have a firm hope through the mercy of our Heavenly 
father & merits of a dying Savior that I shall secure that reward 
which is due to a well spent life. O! my dear son depart not from the 
faith, but hold to that profession which you /have/ made that you 
may thereby receive that happy sentence "enter in the joys of thy 

I am your affectionate father 
E Pettigrew 
[Addressed] M^ William S Pettigrew 

<Hillsborough> /Cool Spring/ 
/Washington Co/ 
N. Carolina 

192 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

Gorham Dummer Abbott^ to Ebenezer Pettigrew UNC 
New- York June 15. 1833. Saturday Evening V2 after 8. 
Mr Pettigrew, 

Dear Sir, 

Last week D*" Vanderburgh laid before me, a proposition respect- 
ing a voyage with your son James, across the Atlantic. My 
situation & circumstances did not allow of my acceptance of it, 
without previously visiting Boston. Yesterday week, three hours 
after the decision was made, I left N. York & hastened home, to 
adjust my engagements & arrange my affairs for a voyage. 

I returned this morning, & have been entirely engrossed during 
the day, with the necessary arrangements for departure. 

Ever since I called upon James, to have an interview with him, in 
order to decide the question of several months companionship, I 
have wished to address myself to you. But the multiplicity of calls 
upon time & attention, which so sudden an engagement has 
occasioned, has absolutely forbidden me the opportunity. 

D^^ V. has doubtless, or will apprise you of all the particulars of 
the understanding between us. I wish it were in my power, to have 
more communication with you, than I can possibly have now. The 
Ship sails tomorrow at 10. A.M. & I am almost completely 
exhausted with the duties of the day. 

I have often before had young persons /for a year/ under my 
especial supervision & care. But never have I undertaken such a 
charge, with the same sense of responsibility that accompanies 
this. The illness of your son, <the> his tender age, the distance & 
dangers of the voyage, combine to make me feel that it is no 
ordinary charge, that I have accepted. 

Still there are many circumstances, which awaken most pleasing 
emotions. The amiable character which I hear of your son, & the 
peculiar disabilities under which he has labored, in efforts to 
improve the mind, & the many incidents which we may anticipate, 
calculated to interest & improve us mutually, are sources of 
expected enjoyment. Besides I hope, that whatever may be the 
issue of the voyage as to his health, that I may be able to return 
/him to/ you improved some what at least, in mind & in character. 

But a weary head admonishes me, that I must to night be brief. 
The first opportunity you shall hear from us again, & I hope that 
every successive communication, I may be permitted to announce 
good tidings of your absent son. 

Meanwhile with sincere wishes for the health & happiness of 
your family at home, I am very respectfully yours 

Gorham D. Abbott 

The Pettigrew Papers 193 

[Addressed] E Pettigrew Esqr 
Cool Spring 
Washington Cty 
North CaroHna 

^Gorham Dummer Abbott (1807-1874) was a New England Presbyterian 
clergyman who became a noted teacher in New Rochelle, New York. James 
Grant Wilson and John Fiske (eds.), Appleton's Cyclopedia of American 
Biography (New York: D. Appleton and Company, 7 volumes, 1887-1900), I, 6, 
hereinafter cited as Appleton's Cyclopedia; CDAB, 1. 

Alfred Gardner^ to Ehenezer Pettigrew a&h 

Dresden, Tenn. June 19th 1833 

My Dear Sir, 

Sometime last fall M^^ John S. Shepheard was in this county and 
Settled all the Taxes on your lands and others of your relativs up to 
the present year — He at the same time appointed me agent for him 
for the purpose of listing his lands for the Taxes etc. I was also 
requested by him to do the Same for you and to write you when the 
mony would be due — I have listed your lands regularly for the 
present year and The Taxes are now due — Though I am not 
compelled to hav the mony for some time yet. But believing that 
you would be glad to know some time in advance that you may be 
enabled to meet it at leisure I have Therefore given you these 
lines — 

By the request of Esq. John S. I listed all the lands belonging to 
the connexion — But I do not know where to address William B. and 
James B. Shepheard — I hope you will inform thim that they had 
better make arrangements to meet these Taxes Shortly— M^^ 
Charles Shepheard & J. H. Bryan have sent me a draft for their 
Taxes for the present year. J. S. has also make arrangements, the 
balance are yet unpaid. I have written to New Orleans to Rich^ M. 
[Shepard] — 

Below I give you the amount of your Taxes at 80 cents pr. 
hundred acres, and Should any of the other Claimants wish to join 
you in Sending money They will know how much by making a 

I presume there is no danger in Sending the money by mail — I 
have been in the habit of receiving from Sundry indivduals and 
have never yet met with any miscarriage — Though the best way 
will be to Send me a Check on the U.S.A. Bank at Nashville which 
will ansure me as good as the money — 

Your Taxes are. 

194 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

Per 1250. @ 80. cts.— $10. 
" 1084— 8.67 

1250— 10.00 


My fees for listing & attention. 

One Dollar pr. tract— 3.00 

Total— $31.67 -~- 

Should you send a draft you can make the exact change. Though 
if you send the money and can not make the correct amount it can 
stand over untill next year. You will do well to have your Taxes 
punctually paid, as reporting land is bad business for the owners — 

Very respectfully 
Alfred Gardner 

Mr E Petigrew. 

[Addressed] Ebenezer Petigrew Esqr. 
Tyrrell Cty 
Cool Springs. 


[Notation on back by Ebenezer Pettigrew] 


35.00 State of North Carolina Lake Phelps [June, 1833] 

<Please to pay> One day after sight of this my first & only Bill of 
Exchange of this time and date, pay to Alfred Gardner or order the 
sum of thirty five dollars, for value received, & place the same with 
or without further advice to account of 

Your Obdt Sevt 
E Pettigrew 

Messer Hick[s] & Smith 
New York. 

^The letters indicate that Alfred Gardner was at one time sheriff of Overton 
County, Tennessee, where the Shepards and Pettigrews owned land. He was 
engaged as an agent to handle business matters there, as it was located a great 
distance from Moses E. Cator. 

The Pettigrew Papers 195 

Ebenezer Pettigrew to Hicks and Smith* a&h 

Lake Phelps June 22, 1833 

Messrs Hicks & Smith, 


Inclosed is bill of lading of the cargo of Lady of the Lake, Which 
<cargo> you will please sell to the best advantage. The wheat is 
inferior, and /I have saved/ but half a crop, which is the case as far 
as I can learn in all this country. I have sent a sample of that grown 
at the two plantations. There is 1460 bus of that in the bottom of the 
bag, the remainder is of that in the upper end. I have a hope it will 
be the first in market, and there by command a tolerable price. I am 
sending my son William Pettigrew to Round Hill School, /He 
arrives in the schooner/ what funds <he> may want at the school 
you will please to honour the draft of his principle, <and> <and> 
pay to <him> /William/ the amount necessary for him <when> in 
going from New York to <the> Round Hill. You will find inclosed 
<the> samples of cloths. Please to get for me something like them 
according to the memorandum.* I shall want for the year about 500 
Gal molasses. I do not know at what time of the year it is cheapest, I 
should be glad if you will procure me that quantity at a time when 
you may think it is at its lowest. *The shirting of which I send you 
sample is the best & has worn better than any I ever had & cost 
much less than some other <say 17 cents.> Capt Dunbar procured 
it for me in 1831 

I am Gentlemen 

Very Respectfully 

E Pettigrew 


250 yds Wollen negro cloth 

350 Do. Shirting for do do 

Molasses according to directions 

2 Black Silk Bonnets for old ladies of about 60 year of age & in 

midling station 

1 Ream good letter paper that which I write on is I think too thin 

196 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

Gorham Dummer Abbott to Ebenezer Pettigrew UNC 

Ship South America July 4. 1833. 
Lat. 48.°45. Long. 18.°30' 

Mr Pettigrew, 

Dear Sir, 

We have now arrived within a few days sail of Cape Clear. I have 
some hope that we may speak <some> /a/ vessel<s>, bound to the 
U. States, & I wish to be ready to embrace the first opportunity of 
apprising you of the situation & present prospects of your Son. 

The first week, after leaving Sandy Hook, James was very sick. 
He took scarcely any nourishment the whole week. He bore 
however his long seasoning very manfully, & said he would 
cheerfully be sick, if it would be the means of restoring his health. 
Since that time he has been perfectly well, as it respects sea- 
sickness. His involuntary motions have very much diminished & 
his whole appearance so much improved that it is a matter of daily 
remark, to almost all our fellow-passengers. 

When he first came on board, his movements were so uncontroll- 
able, that I used to assist him, in dressing, <eating [illegible]> at 
table, & indeed in almost all his personal duties. During the first 
ten days, these symptoms very rapidly diminished. It seemed 
regularly as his sea-sickness increased & continued, that his limbs 
came more under his control. 

But for the last week, I do not think the improvement has been so 
great. Yet he dresses himself almost entirely /alone,/, manages his 
plate, knife & fork, plays with my knife, cutting sticks & amuses 
himself with twine /about the ship/ & other things quite skilfully. 
Still the nervous affection, is by no means, entirely removed. 

He has a fine appetite, & I have had to reason the case with him, 
in order to induce him to deny it, cordially & cheerfully, which he 
has been willing to do. 

His tongue indicates that all is not perfectly right, & I have had 
to be cautious, in the indulgences allowed him at <the> abundant 
table of our Packet. 

He has lately improved very much in spirits & appears to enjoy 
himself, in a manner which has encouraged me to hope, that a 
favorable change may be working, that will ultimately remove all 
traces of his disease. But I have been disappointed in not seeing 
<more> the change more rapid & complete, for the last week. 

I just called James to me & told <me> /him/ that I was going to 
write to you & asked him what I should say. He desired me to give 
his love to you all, & to say that he was better. 

As it regards the attention, which I have been able to bestow to 
the improvement of his mind & manners, I find that thus far. 

The Pettigrew Papers 197 

<that> hours of sickness, of rolling waves, & of various other 
hindrances, have prevented my attempting much towards his 
mental cultivation. What I do is necessarily <almost solely by> 
/confined to/ the voice, without books. He has however several 
times read to me & seems really to feel a strong desire to make 
progress in his studies. 

I cannot but sympathise with him, when he manifests as he has 
done, no little sensibility at the thought, that his education has 
suffered from his long & distressing illness. 

I hoped when I accepted this charge, that I should be able to do 
something to improve his mind & character that would be a source 
of gratification to me, even should the voyage not effect that cure 
which was anticipated. 

But the most that can be done, will be in the way of conversation, 
giving him such information as is suited to his age & acquire- 
ments. And I have found him already quite an interesting com- 
panion in the enquiries which he is often making. 

As to the course which I shall pursue, on our arrival at L, I am yet 
undecided. Our Captain & all the passengers, some of whom have 
been 14 times across the Atlantic, say that the month of Oct. is by 
all means, the best fall month for a return. During the hot months 
of summer the atmosphere on the American shores becomes very 
much rarified. And ordinarily, the denser atmosphere over the 
Atlantic, rushes in to restore the equilibrium, in the month of Sept. 
giving us our September gales. On this account, I should prefer to 
embark the first of October & thus avoid the boisterous storms, 
which are often to be encountered in the preceding month. 

I might embark the 14 of August, but that would allow us but a 
very short visit in London, perhaps not more than a week or ten 
days. To day is the 5th of July & we may be a week in the channel, 
while we have not yet made Cape Clear. 

Did every thing favor it, I <should> think we could spend the 
intervening time between this & Oct 1st in visiting the scenes of 
interest, to which we shall soon be near. But I do not see, now, how I 
shall be able to remain so long in England. And so far as I can tell 
at present, I shall not remain more than a month or 6 weeks & that 
will require me to re embark about the 1st of Sept. 

Every body tells me, I ought not return to America without 
peeping at Paris, as it is only a 30 hours trip from London. But if I 
begin to make excursions it is exceedingly difficult to know which 
to choose [torn] Edinborough, Glasgow, Belfast & Dublin are all 
within \torn] days or a week even (in haste,) from Liverpool. And as 
it now seems to be out of my power to reconnoitre much, I expect to 
make our way /from Liverpool/ to London, slowly, to see what we 
can by the way, & after 3 or 4 weeks there, to return. 

198 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

However, you will hear from me again, <on> by the first Packet 
from London, after our arrival, & should any thing then occur to 
change my arrangements, I shall appraise you of it. 

James is as well to-day as yesterday, he asked me this morning, 
if I had sent his love to all. 

with my regards for the members of your family, I am respectfully 

Gorham D. Abbott. 
[Addressed] Ebenezer Pettigrew Esqr 
Cool Spring 
Washington County 
North Carolina 

[Notation by Dr. Frederick Vanderburgh] 

N York Aug 16th i833 

My dear Sir, I am overwhelmed with business but mean to write 
you the first opportunity affords Your friend 

F. Vanderburgh 

William Shepard Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew unc 

New York 6th July 1833 

Dear Father 

I arrived at this place <o:D> on the fourth of July about three 
Oclock in afternoon, being detained at Ocracok bar five days on 
account of contrary winds, whare we enjoyed ourselvs in caching 
and eating fish, and then we had a fair wind untill we came within 
something like 45 miles of New York, and then We had a verry hard 
shower and the wind blew from the north untill about 12 0-clock 
Wednesday neight and then the wind was fair so that we arrived a 
the time above stated, I was sick but one day, and I think upon the 
whole stood it verry well, I found the Captain to be a verry fine man 
nor did I find any fault with the crew. I came <th> to Mr Hik's on 
the ensueing day, he seamed verry polite /and/ seamed to regret 
verry much that his family had gon out of the city, which rendered 
it so that I could not stay at his house, but however I fell in with one 
of his clerks who is verry polite <ant> and obliging, and boards at 
a verry good house whare I now reside, the Lady's name is Potter. I 
have not seen Doctor Vandebourg as /yet/ but espect to go there as 
soon as I find out his number, I have traversed New York 

The Pettigrew Papers 199 

considerably but after all I have seen no <place> spot in it which I 
like <as well> as well as Lake Phelps, for I have heard so much 
racket, and seen so many fops struting about the streets that I 
almost have become tiered of it. I hope that my Dear Grandmother 
is yet alive but alas /I fear/ it is but a hope, But if she has departed 
this life, I boath hope and expect she has gon to a better, and if she 
is yet alive give my sincere and tender love to her and also to 
brother Charles, on to all my relations. 
Remember me to Mr Jones and Mr Davenport and Mrs Hanah. 

Believe me most sincerely Your affectionate son 

William S Pettigrew 
[Addressed] Mr Ebenezer Pettigrew 
Coolspring Postoffice 
Washington County 
North, Carolina, 

Charles Lockhart Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew unc 

Chapel-Hill July 17th [1833] 

My dear father 

I thought it best to bring brother Johnston the whole way to 
Chapel Hill: The first part of the journy he bore very well, but as he 
was coming from Smithfield to Raleigh he complained several 
times of being tired and when I came to Raleigh finding the stage 
very ful for that eveni/n/g and I could not have got a seat had I 
have tried, so I concluded that it was best to come Chapel-Hill in 
the barouche than stay there two two or three days and then have a 
crowded stage. Brother Johnston has behaved himself very well, 
and whatever I have said has been the law with him, I have had no 
difficulty to restrain him from eating, <the> he rather acquiesed in 
<doing> whatever he thought I would like for him to eat, when I 
came to Raleigh I went to M^ Gyon's [Guion's Hotel] but he had no 
room and then I drove to M^ Cook's and there I staid untill I came 
away, I found Uncle James [Shepard] at Raleigh and he came with 
me to Chapel-Hill, he has determined not to go to Richmond. It is 
said that Raleigh never was so ful as it was on the fourth of July. I 
saw <M^' Iredel> governer Iredel in Rale/i/gh and spoke to him at 
M^" Cook's steps, he did not know me and he was so much 
intoxicated that he come very near falling off the steps and when 
he went away he could not walk the path he went to the assembly of 
delegates on the rail-road and got up and made some fo/o/lish 
speech but Jud[^]e Badger, to keep him from exposing himself any 
further and knowing his situation moved an adjournment 

200 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

Brother Johnston has had very good passages and sometimes 
his evacuations have been rather too free; I asked him several 
times while coming up if he wanted to return to Newbern and he 
universaly answered in the negative yesterday while coming to 
Chapel Hill he expressed a wish to see his grandma and to day he 
asked me to let him go<t> to Newbern with Jim and when I told 
him he must stay here with me he cried to go back and said he did 
not wish to stay here. 

I arrived a this place on Saturday from Raleigh and intend Jim to 
stay to day and start very soon monday morning for home. M^s 
Nun's^ is not altogether the sort of place I could wish it to be; M^s 
Nun is disabled by a fall and has but few servants to attend well to 
the business they have to attend to <so that> and she has no 
command over them and of course they are lazy so that I fear next 
session, when I shall be busy, Johnston will not be as well attended 
to as could be wished, during the vacation that will will not be of so 
much importance for I can attend to him myself; I think it would be 
well if grandma would come up here about the end of the vaction, 
that difficulty would then <be> in a measure disappear. But I will 
take the utmost care of him and do with him to the best advantage. 
Another objection, I have, there is a young fellow, an <res> 
inhabitant of the place, who lives at M^s Nun's and will be there 
most of his time whose company I dislike very much for Johnston 
to keep, and as Johnston next session will be there most of his time 
it would be impossible for him to be kept from this fellow he would 
learn him to swear and he would talk every sort of evel conversation 
before him. 

Nevertheless my dear father you may assure yourself that he 
will /not/ stand in need from my negligence for I consider it to be a 
sacred duty I owe to My God and you to protect whatever is put in 
my care to the best of <y> my ability and especially a brother 
whom I love and would cherish and protect /hin/ in any situation 
and knowing how he must feel being taken so young from the 
persons with whom he had been accustomed to live and place as it 
were among strangers, I hope you will make yourself satisfied if I 
change his situation in any manner I shall let you know and 
assign my reasons for so doing. I shall write you write you very 
often and let you know how we all are. We are quite well Johnston 
sends his love to you. I shall give Jim $12, which I think will be 
sufficient give my respects to M^ Jones and M^ Davenport and 
believe me your 

Affectionate son 
Charles L Pettigrew 
[Addressed] M^ E. Pettigrew 
Washington Co 
N. Carolina 

The Pettigrew Papers 201 

^Charles refers to the boarding house in Chapel Hill operated for many years 
by Mrs. Elizabeth Nunn, who died in 1851. Battle, History of the University, I, 
272, 613-614. 

Gorham Dummer Abbott to [Dr. J Frederick Vanderburgh UNC 
London. July 17th i833. 12 Adam St. Adelphi. 
D^ Vanderburgh 

My Dear Sir, 

We <ha> arrived in London Last Saturday evening. Last night I 
learned that the mail bag for the next packet would be closed 
to-day. Accordingly I am required to make out a parcel of letters in 

James, I am happy to say, is more cheerful & in better spirits 
than I have known him to be in. But his nervous affection does not 
entirely disappear. I think he appears better however, in all 
respects. He says he is. Still I find that he is very restless & very 
evidently muscular motion is not completely within his control. 

His tongue is furred, or rather has a little milky coat. Appetite 
good & his bodily occasions regular, which he says he never used to 
have so regular before. 

We are staying at the Hotel, a sort of retired & private establish- 
ment of a widow lady M^s Wright, in Adam St, Adelphi, a few doors 
out of the strand. 

London is a noisy, smoky, bustling, wicked Babylon. In the 
morning I generally rise a little more reconciled to prolonging my 
visit, than I am at night. After the fatigues of the day, I am almost 
ready to sigh for a speedy return to the quiet & endearing 
atmosphere of my mother's fireside. What a place is home! 

We employ the days variously. James I sometimes set to work 
writing or drawing. He has succeeded in both of these attempts, 
much better than I supposed he would. While he spend a part of the 
forenoon, in some such exercise as this, I am occupied delivering 
my letters of introduction & attending to sundry private matters. 
In the afternoon, the time is generally devoted to seeing the lions. 

But it is rather difficult to decide upon the limits of afternoon 
here. The king often takes breakfast at 6 o'clock in the evening, 
dinner at 12 at night, of course daylight or sunrise is just about 
bed-time. — 

I have not as yet made any enquiries about the packets. D^^ Cox is 
in Paris. And I have enquired several times, to ascertain when he 
will return. A gentleman told me, he beleived about the lO^h of Sept^ 
If so, I shall probably take passage in the same ship. 

Perhaps however it is not so. 

202 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

If possible I shall write to Day, to M^ Pettigrew & enclose in this, 
as I did my last. You may expect to hear once more before I 
reembark. — 

In the mean time with assurance of my affectionate regard for all 
your family, I am respectfully your's 

Gorham D. Abbott 

[Notation by Dr. Frederick Vanderburgh] 

N.Y. Aug. 26th 1833— 

Dear Sir, 

I have just recieved this letter from London and forward it to you. 
I dislocated my wrist last Friday and am unable to write. The rest 
of the family are as well as usual, and beg to be remembered to you. 

Affectionately Your friend, 
F. Vanderburgh. 
[Addressed] <D^ Vanderburgh 
New York 

E. Pettigrew Esq. 
Cool Spring. 
Washington County. 

Ebenezer Pettigrew to James Cathcart Johnston unc 

Lake Phelps July 22, 1833 

My dear Sir, 

I received your favour of June 24, at Plymouth on my way to 
Newbern to visit and to determine what course to take with my 
poor little Johnston who was in very declining health. It inclosed 
my note to you, which upon examination, after making the 
deduction for the purchase of the boards, thirty five dollars & ten 
dollars freight, for them leaves a balance due you of ninety dollars, 
which sum I will pay you the first opportunity that may occur I 
could not make any charge for the threshing machine. It was of no 
use to me & has been of none to you & therefore is worth nothing, 
and I hope you know my prin[c/]ples too well to think that I would 
take something for that which was worth nothing. 

On the subject of the money due Joseph Blount I should like to 
pay a small amount on that note say two thousand dollars, the 
remaining sum I may have, I can probably manage. As regards the 
increasing my stock of negroes. The multiplication of negroes adds 

The Pettigrew Papers 203 

to the managers tro/u/bles, and though I seem to get along with 
them and my business in general, pretty smoothly, & without 
much bustle, yet My dear Friend, it is too often with the greatest 
angush of mind, When I reflect that there is not one ray of hope in 
this world to counter balance this excessive anxiety of mind, I am 
fit to sink down in dispair. Not a single individual within my reach 
that I can in safety deposit an expression. In truth I feel as though I 
was in the midst of the ocean upon a single plank. How many times 
has the night which we spent together at Plymouth passed over my 
mind, and how rejoiced would I be if that meeting could take 
/place/ even once a month. My dear ever dear Companion was my 
stay, my earthly all, my solace under every difficulty. My children, 
bone of my bone & flesh of my flesh the offspring of my dear wife, 
who are dearer to me than ten thousand lives, and to whome I owe 
that obligation that can not be removed, call on my constant & 
unremiting attention to my business, and their interest must not be 
neglected, but how rejoiced would I be to retire from all kind of 
business and dwell upon my miseries in this world & conte/m/plate 
my father in Heaven and the world to come. But why am I thus 
tormenting my friend? I will end it by an extract from a letter from 
my dear Nancy after the death of her sister 'No one knows my 
distress, I communicate it to no one, it is ungenerous to burden 
others with my distresses, when they have enough of their own to 

In the first part of my letter I mentioned Johnston illness. When I 
got to Newbern I found him some better so /as/ to be able I thought 
to travil, I accordingly sent him with his brother Charles who was 
about returning to Chapel Hill, where I expect he /will/ remain the 
fall. By the return of the Baruche I received a letter from Charles 
saying they got up very well that J. was better, that he was very 
obedient to him, and farthermore giving the most flattering 
evidence of his duty towards his God & his father, in protecting his 
brothers & sisters. I can not be led away by my partialities, but if I 
know an amiable young man, my son Charles is one. You will be 
certain had I not that opinion I could not have sent an infant of 5 
years old with him. 

My second son William who had got through at Hillsboro I have 
sent to Round Hill school, he went in /my/ schooner to New York 
he has writen me from there where he has my permition to stay a 
few days. He had a pleasant trip of 13 days in which he was sea sick 
but one day. He seems to be tired looking at dandeis in N. York. My 
poor diseased son James sailed in the packet for England on the 16 
June under the care of a Revd M^ Abot, who has the first 
recomdation from D^^" Vanderburgh. It is the last hope to restore the 
poor little fellow to health. My two dear little daughters are in 
health the younger is thought to be a beautiful child. I think it the 

204 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

<heal> healthiest I have ever had. The day of my leaving Newbern 
I gave Mary twenty five cents, /with/ a part of which she bought a 
ginger cake & gave me when I was about to leave. It is never to be 
eaten while I live. It is the first present I ever received from one of 
my children. By the return of the Baruche my son Charles sent me 
a new book, 'The happiness of the Blessed' by Bishop [^orn]mant. 
These presents though small are great to a father [torn] 

I agree perfectly with your opinion on /the/ subject of the 
professions & agriculture, also the certain interest in negroes well 
managed, and of the no value of land in this country without them. 
I regreted to learn of /the/ great damage by the freshet to your 
crops & embankments on the river but with your percevierance 
and unremiting attention they will soon be restored. My corn crop 
by excessive hard labour was a good one but it is now firing and 
suffering exceedingly from the drought, & what will be the result I 
cannot think. My wheat was a half crop. I shiped it the 22nd June, 
and I learn it sold for 126 cents. 

Please to give my kind regards to your Sisters and believe to be 
your sincere friend 

E Pettigrew 

James C. Johnston esqr 

N.B. Pray do not apologise in future at the length of your letter, but 
write them longer and as often as convenience will allow. I will not 
say excuse mine; I know you take an interest in me and mine. 


[Addressed] James C. Johnston Esqr 
Edenton P. Office 

Ehenezer Pettigrew to Mary Williams Bryan UNC 

Belgrade Aug 4, 1833 

My dear sister 

I received your obliging favour of the first, today. It found me in 
sincere sorrow. My dear & poor old Mother expired this morning 
/at sunrise/ after suffering the most excrutiating torture for 54 
days. The last fifteen hours she was in the agonies of death. They 
are beyond my powers of discription. My^ Warrington & M^s Hooker 
among others were with her they say such a contest with death is 
entirely beyond what they had ever seen. It is unnecessary for me 
to express my feelings on the subject. She was the kind affectionate 
companion of my father, she had acted towards me the part of a 

The Pettigrew Papers 205 

mother for 39. years, she had been the kind & tender friend of my 
dear Nancy, the affectionate grandmother of my children. I can 
but say I am reconciled to the bereavment from her declining age, 
and intense suffering from which there <w> seemed no hope of 
recovery. I am now left entirely alone, and feel it most sensibly, and 
O! if it was not for <my> the duty which I owe to my dear ever dear 
children, how rejoiced I would be to have the sentence in my ear. 
This night thy soul shall be required of thee. O my God how tired I 
am of the world. 

Will Mr Bryan write an Obituary notice for the paper^ she was 84 
years 7 m. & 20 days old. You knew well her character. I would 
write you a longer letter, but I am by the death of mother made an 
executor, to her will I am extremly ignorent, and need advice, and 
expect therefore to be with you on fryday next, when I hope M^^ 
Bryan will be at home. I know you will excuse /the shortness of/ 
my /letter/ when I tell you that I slept none last, night, that I have 
been to the Lake & returned, and have but this evening to write 
[four] letters. Please to remember me affectionately to M^ Bryan 
brother Charles sister Lydia, and my dear little daughters 

& believe me to be your affectionate & afflicted brother 

E Pettigrew 

Mrs Mary W. Bryan 

N.B. My poor old mothers countinance while in the agonies of 
death was so altered that I could not have known her. 

[Addressed] M^s Mary W. Bryan 



^The obituary of Mary Lockhart Pettigrew appeared August 9, 1833, in the 
New Bern Spectator. She was termed a 'Venerable and estimable lady" who 
was just and kind and a friend to the poor. Her "lamp was kept constantly 

William Shepard Pettigrew to Ehenezer Pettigrew UNC 

Northampton IQth August 1833 

Dear Father 

With the greatest pleasure I commence now the pleasant task of 
writing you a fiew lines. I arrived at this place on 11th July and on 
the 14th I joined school, I think that this place surpasses any I ever 
saw in point of beauty, the town is in a vall/e/y surrounded by 
several beautyfull mountains one of which is something like a mile 

206 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

and a half in height, and every thing seams to exibit the greatest 
taste, before every house their are beautyfull treas so as to protect 
them from the sun, the school is situated on a hill <about> at the 
edge of town, there are four bildings where all the boys stay and Mr 
Cogswell also with several of the tutors, there are six teachers one 
for writing, exclusively, one for Mathematicks, one for greek, 
another for french, another for Latin, one for English, and in short 
I expect that this school surpasses any in the United states. I have 
to recite something like five times a day and some of the boys six or 
seven. I find Mr Cogswell to be a very <f> good man, he keeps us in 
his room one our every night and three hours on Sunday <an> 
besides going to preaching twice and should their be no preaching 
we stay in five hours, he never whips the boys, but when they do 
not know their lessons he detains them after the school is 
dismissed, and if they misbehave he puts them in the dungeon, in 
fiew words I like the school very much. I have been very desireous 
to hear from home on account of Grandma and therefore I would be 
glad to recieve a letter as quick as pos/si/ble, but I hope that se is 
well but alo alas I fear in vane, should her life have been spared 
thus far remember me to her in tender love and regard, also 
remember me to Mr Jones and Mr Davenport. 

Believe me your Affectionate son 
Wm S Pettigrew 

Direct your letters to Round Hill Nortampton Massachusetts 

Charles Lockhart Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew unc 

Chapel-Hill, August 26th i833 

Dear Father 

I received your letter duly and was glad to hear that you did not 
have a severe attack of sickness, you reverted to the subject of 
taking care of money I am as careful of it as I can well and I am 
thus careful of /it, not only/ because you have told me to be so but it 
would be the bight of impropriety for me to spend it uselessly, but 
as every person needs caution, I am glad you have given it to me 
other wise I would very probably be led away, forgeting my duty, 
and how necessary it was to act judiciously as to those matters; I 
have got me a coat for $20, 25 it is quite a good one; but I do not wear 
it yet as my old one lasts me yet very decently; I am quite a hard 
student I get a mathematical lesson 1/3 of my time and am as good 
a scollar <of> on it as anyone in the class and on latin and greek I 
am very nearly as good a scholar as any in the class. I am quite 
restored to health, and I think will keep it. Dear Father when I 

The Pettigrew Papers 207 

think of my dear grandma I can hardly get my mind to assent to 
what I know to be true, it seems to be almost impossible for such a 
change to have taken place since my leaving home, it seems to me 
as if I can see her siting in her own little room and occupying her 
place in the little circle. I have a very ha/r/d lesson in Demostenes, 
the hardest greek in college to get this evening and therefore you 
must excuse my brevity. Brother Johnston is at present at 
Hillsborough and I have not been there since I wrote you my last 
letter but I shall go to Hillsboro in a about a week. 

I am your ever affectionate son, 
Charles L Pettigrew 
[Addressed] M^ E. Pettigrew 
Cool Spring 
N. Carolina 

Laurence Chu[r]n and William Watts^ 

to Ehenezer Pettigrew a&h 

Wilhamston Sept. 10. 1833 

Dear Sir, 

We have a company incorporated to build a Turnpike Road 
across the Low lands of Roanoke and not willing to commence the 
undertaking without information from some practical individual 
as to the probable cost of the work, the Board of Directors have 
appointed the undersigned a committee to address you: confiding 
in your knowledge in estimating the costs of such works: to request 
your views on the subject — The Road will run through land that 
will soon become solid by embankment and is to be 20 feet wide. 
Sixty feet will be condemned for the use of the company which is 
covered with timber — It is proposed to log the sides of the Road and 
to have Arches about every half quarter of a mile — The Road will 
be three miles long and will have to be raised five feet upon an 
average— There will be 17 Arches 20 feet wide and 8 Bridges 30 feet 
wide upon an average in the whole length — We would be glad to 
have your estimate for one mile supposing 6 Arches and 2 Bridges 
and also an estimate of the whole Road according to the foregoing 
statement — An answer to this as early as will suit your conveheince 
will confer a particular favor on the Stockholders and very 

Much oblige Yr. Most Obt Servts. 

Laurence Chu[r]n 

Wm Watts 

208 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

E. Pettigrew 

P.S. We omitted to mention that the earth that will be thrown up to 
make the Road will be good solid ground & as before stated will 
become very hard after embankment — 

[Addressed] E. Petegrew Esquire 
Cool Spring 
Washington County 

^William Watts of Williamston, Martin County, is listed in the 1830 Census 
Index, 196. Laurence Churn (Chunn) has not been identified. 

Ehenezer Pettigrew to William Shepard Pettigrew unc 

Lake Phelps Oct^ 7, 1833 

My dear son 

I received your letter of the 7*^ ult. and am not able to express the 
pleasure I felt at some of the sentiments it expressed. I hope you 
will continue to exercise them and increase in your power to do 
right. If you waste and throw away your time all my labour and the 
sacrifice of happiness is in vain. 

I think you say that your vacation is in November and in the 
spring, and you are desirous to make an excurtion during the 
November one. If you should go any where then I could wish you 
not to stay long, so as to add but very little cost to your present 
expences. I could wish very much that you would spend a part of 
your time in learning to write. You say that board is five dollars a 
week Is it five dollars at all times or only during the vacation. I 
should like to know. My son I do not wish to cramp in your 
/ex/spenditures, but it will be necessary to be economical. When 
you reflect that there are six of you and that every one is every day 
on expences you will say with me that I have a heavy hand. And 
you will I know my dear son reflect that you are all to be set up in 
life to begin above the powers of /the/ rich. Lose no time you are 
advancing rapidly to manhood, three day ago & you were fifteen, 
six years more & you must set up for yourself & if I am alive relieve 
me of a part of this heavy load I am under. My dear William, I am 
willing to devote my time to my dear children, It /is/ my duty, It is 
an obligation which cannot be removed untill death and all I ask of 
my children is to do their duty to themselves. I am informed by last 
mail that your brother James has returned to New York & quite 
well and very much improved. I have directed him to be sent 
immediately to sea again in the hope that it make a permanent 
cure of him. I also heard from your Brothers up the country and 

The Pettigrew Papers 209 

your sisters in Newbern, they were all well. I should like in some of 
James' stays in N. York that you could go and see him. I have 
/had/ several attacks of fever this fall but am now tolerable. M^^ 
Collins' family has been <extem> extremely sickly. M^s C. has 
been very ill but better & I hope out of danger. It has been an 
awfully sickly fall, and there has been an incredible number of 
deaths. There has been a great number of my negroes sick but no 
deaths. I have been the Physician. M^ Davinport and M^ Brickhouse 
have not been sick. Which has been greatly to my advantage, for 
we have all enough to do My business does on as usual. I have 
made at Belgrade 60,000 Bricks and they were fired on Saturday, I 
begin to sow wheat next week. I make but a half crop of corn from 
the drought, so you see my son a half crop of wheat and half crop of 
corn, makes a half loaf. I have got a six feet ditch into the Juniper 
swamp that was talked of when you were home, but I have been 
afraid of too much fatigue & have not been there yet. There is some 
value in it, but how much I cannot tell. It is never well to presume 
too much. Go on my dear son & /may you/ prepare yourself for 
usefulness in this life & that happiness which our blessed father 
has promised in another to those who love & serve him, is the 
Prayer of your 

Affectionate father 
E Pettigrew 
[Addressed] Master William S. Pettigrew 
North Hampton 
Round Hill school 

' Ehenezer Pettigrew to Laurence Chu[r]n 

and William Watts* a&h 

Octr 12, 1833 


Yours of the 10 Ult. came to hand in the due course of the mail 
and should have been answered sooner but for the multiplicity of 
business, and for the last week <th> attention to the sick. On the 
subject of your letter. I would say that twenty feet would not be 
wide enough for two carriages to pass with safety, and if a few 
accidents should happen for the want of width it might lessen 
traviling. If the road is twenty feet /wide/ at top it should be thirty 
at bottom /if 5 ft elevation/. You might put one log at the 
commencement of the road in a line with it but no more. If loged up 
to the top <of the> /with/ ordinary timber /it/ would soon rot & 
fall down, cost a considerable labour in the begining for no use. The 

210 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

bridges on the road (I suppose for the /water in/ freshets to pass,) 
will cost very little more than the like number of /lineal/ feet of 
earth, /supposing the timber to be free./ and I will make a 
calculation of a mile as though it was all earth, supposing the road 
30 ft at base, 20 ft at top & 5 ft high. I would suggest the propriety of 
raising the road above the highest freshets ever know one ft. I 
know you must be aware of the injury done & the additional cost of 
repair in the event of the current passing over it. It will be 
necessary to log up the sluices left for the bridges, that the water 
passing through [blotted] in freshets might not carray away the 
<beach> /earth/ 

I think that any tolerable good hand would make of the road two 
lineal ft in a day which is raising 250 cubit ft of earth. There being 
5280 lineal ft in a mile would make 2640 day work which at 26 days 
to the month would be 101 month & 14 day work <or 304 mnth and 
16 days work>, one mile long & 60 ft wide which you will find I 
think not sufficient width includes /little more than/ 7. acres /& a 
fraction/ to cut down and clear <for> /for the road &/ will take one 
month & 12 days making 103 months work to one mile and 
supposing them to cost with their tools & provision $15 a month, 
making for the mile $1545. p^' mile I estimate hands at $15 a month, 
it would be well to get by the year, and I would think <them> they 
might be had at a less price than 15. There is a considerable art in 
the use of the spade. Ther may be some error in my calculation as 
the above has been made in great haste. Any /further/ infor- 
mation which <I may have> /you might want/ on the above 
subject will be given with great pleasure. 

[Dr.] Frederick Vanderburgh to Ebenezer Pettigrew unc 

New York Oct 1833^ 

Dear Sir 

I wrote you on Jame's return that he was very week — He had not 
been on shore more than ten days: when I perceived that he lost in 
appearance — as well as in strength — 

Whether this unfavourable change was owing to his being on 
shore, or whether, it arose from indulgence in food & the fruits of 
the Season, I could not tell: but as soon as I saw his strength fail, & 
the inability increase to hold things in his hand I lost no time in 
preparing him again for Sea — 

I foresaw that a long voyage was indispensible: <oft> yet I did 
not like to send him where we could not hear from him often — Capt 
Phillips of the Ship Waverly saild on tuesday for Mobile — from 
thence to Liverpool — from thence to Mobile — from thence to 
London & from thence to N York 

The Pettigrew Papers 211 

This will occupy the coming year & we can hear from Ja^ on his 
arrival & departure from every Port — The Ship is of the first Class 
& belongs to my friend Rob^ Center & he speaks of Capt Philips in 
the highest terms — 

I told Capt P — that James health was the first object & the 
second was to employ him as much as was consistent with his 
health & give him all the instruction & practical information, that 
would qualify him for <use> future usefulness^-He promised on 
the faith of a Lutheran, that he would put Ja^ as his constant 
companion & treat him in all respects as his own Son — 

I have furnished James with clothes & the et ceteras for the 
Years voyage and given 18 to 20 Volumes of a little library that he 
will peruse in his leisure hours — 

He went off in fine Spirits & promised that you & I should have 
letters from every Port — I have little doubt that his health will be 
permanently re-established at Sea — 

Knowing your desire to preserve his remains, if he should die 
abroad & furnished every necessary article & written instructions, 
to accomplish your wishes — 

I drew on your Agent Messrs Hicks & Smith for One hundred 
dollars more & will give you an account of my steward ship as soon 
as I have time — 

Very sincerely your friend 
F Vanderburgh 
[Addressed] Ebenezer Pettigrew Esqr 
Cool Spring 
Washington Cty 
North Carolina 

^A no cation in Ebenezer Pettigrew's hand on the outside of this letter 
indicates that he received it on October 18. 

William Shepard Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew unc 

Round Hill Northampton 21 October 1833 

Dear Pa 

I received your letter of the 7 instant, and was very glad to hear 
that you had es-caped telerable well from the fall sickness. You 
stated that Mr Collins's family had been very sick, which I was 
very sory to hear, but it was what I expected., I was in hopes that 
Mr Burnit would recover from his dissease, but brother Charles 
writes me that he died about a month ago. I have not yet come to a 
conclusion where I shall go next vacation, but whereever I go I 
shall be as careful as pos/s/able, as I know it will be both for my 

212 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

good and the good of my brothers, and sisters, and to your 
satisfaction. You wanted to know if the board was $5 in the 
vacation only, or in the session, as to that, I do not know but the 
boys say that is the price both in the session, and in the vacation. 
You would be astonished to see how different the people at the 
north, live, from those at the south, at breakfast, we have litebread, 
and butter, and at dinner, mutten, and py, and at supper litebread 
and butter, each having three pieces as his allowance, I have not 
seen a peace of corn bread since I have been in Massachusetts, and 
but very fiew biscuits. I should like to know you intend Brother 
James to go whether, in a ship, or in a common schooner, <I> 
however I expect it would be best for him to go in the Navy where he 
would be constantly at see, but in the mean time his education 
would be stoped which would be very bad, as I expect he has 
gon<e> to school very little. By next August I expect by hard study 
I will be prepaired for the Sophamore class in Cambridge, but it is 
imiterial to me whether I go to College or no. for I would equally as 
live be farming at Belgrade as /be/ any whare else. I have been 
sick several times since I came here, but am tolerable well, at 
present. I enjoy myself very well here, and have to study very hard. 

I am your affectionate son 
William S Pettigrew 
[Addressed] Mr Ebenezer Pettigrew 
Coolspring Postoffice 
Washington County 
North Carolina 

John Herritage Bryan to Ebenezer Pettigrew UNC 

New Bern Nov^ 7. 1833 

My dear Sir, 

I write merely to inform you that we are all well — Mary & Nancy 
are in very good health. Charles & Betsey have had very bad colds 
& we were apprehensive that they had the whooping cough (which 
is still in town & in our neighbourhood) but our fears have not been 
realized. — 

They have commenced the repairs of the Church and have taken 
off the shingles of the centre of the roof, and the defect is now 
visible — the pressure had been lateral & the collar beams were very 
much strained & the rafters partially split. — 

The architect who is from Philad^ seems to scientific & sanguine 
in his opinion that he can repair it at a moderate expense— but not 
at $500. 

The Pettigrew Papers 213 

The Rev. M^ Freeman^ is here soHciting subscripts for the Epl. 
School. — The Bishop returned to N.Y. in consequence of the death 
of his child & will probably not be in New Bern till Jany. — 

Bishop England^ is here and Sister Penelope is quite happy. — 
There is no material change in Lydia, she appears to be slowly 
declining. — 

Mary sends her affectionate regard to you. — 

Your friend & relative 
Jn. H. Bryan 
[Addressed] Ebenezer Pettigrew Esq'' 
Cool Spring 


^The Reverend George W. Freeman was at this time rector of Christ Church, 
Raleigh. Journal of the Diocesan Convention, 1833, 3. 

^Bishop John England (1786-1842) came to the Roman Catholic diocese of 
South Carolina in 1820. He was very active in missionary work and in 
parochial education. DAB, VI, 161-163. While in New Bern at the time of this 
letter, he lectured each evening in the Masonic Hall to "crowded and attentive 
audiences." Newbern Spectator, November 1, 1833. 

Frederick S. Blount to John Herritage Bryan unc 

Mobile November 7th 1833.— 

My dear Brother, ^ 

By the mail that will bring you this letter, you will receive a 
newspaper containing an obituary notice prepared by me for 
James Pettigrew. — This melancholy event while it would under 
ordinary circumstances have created most poignant sorrow in the 
bosom of his Father, must from the distressing nature of the 
accident by which he was lost to him, carry a double portion of 
anguish with it. — 

I do not know what were the directions given by Cousin Ebenezer 
to D^ Vanderberg relative to James — but having an oppertunity of 
inspecting that gentlemans directions to Captain Phillips, I was 
much surprised that there was no one on board the vessel but the 
Captain, who could, or would afford him any relief in case of 
sickness: — He was not provided with a Cabin passage, and eat and 
slept in the forecastle with the men. — His duty on hoard ship was 
that of a servant in the ladies cabin. — The clothes which he had 
with him were furnished by Capt Phillips, and were common sailer 
clothes — and Captain Phillips informs me, that he was far from 
being decently clad when these clothes were purchased for him. — 

My friend M^ Samuel M Ogden of New York was a passenger on 
board the Waverly, and states that while the ship was running 

214 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

down the Bahama Banks with the land close aboard James 
ascended, unnoticed, the foremast. — Many passengers had gone 
aloft to look out, — The first intimation that any one had of James 
being out of the ship, was his hearing something strike the railing 
of the ship near the bows, and fall in the water. He passed 
immediately under the stern, and cried to those who were standing 
on the deck "Oh! Come." — The vessel was going nine miles an 
hour. — He states further that he was lying on his back and his legs 
had the appearance of being broke, <as> he supposes from the fall, 
as he did not use them. — Every exertion was made by the Captain 
to save him but they were all in vain. — The boat was lowered and 
on the spot in ten minutes after the accident occurred — but he was 
never seen more. — 

Such are the outlines of this truly melancholy occurrence — When 
the ship arrived I accidentally saw on the Bulletin at the exchange, 
a notice of the loss of a master James Pettonger, and on further 
inquiry discovered that it was James Pettigrew. — 

Yesterday I wrote a letter to Cousin Ebenezer informing him of 
the circumstances — but giving him none of the details contained in 
this letter. — I fervently wish that he may bear his affliction with 
resignation and fortitude. It has made me quite sad. — 

I found a letter from M^^ Gaston to me, had been published at New 
Haven since my departure from thence. — This was done without 
my knowledge and consent, and it was with painful regret that I 
found my Agent there by the advice of his friends, and without any 
notice to me of his intention, published this letter to vindicate 
himself from charges made against him by the Abolition Society. — 
I have written to M^" G. explaining the matter — as he must deem it a 
gross viola[tion of] confidence which we repose in those with whom 
we corresp[ond] of publishing our letters without our consent. — 
The letter in question was left by mistake in a large package of 
papers relating to the negro, and handed to the Agent at New 
Haven. — 

Our rivers are very low — no produce can come to market and 
times are rather dull. — I found all my friends in good health and 
pleased to see me. — So soon as the rivers rise — business will be 
brisk and every thing active. — I overtook John Shepard and Col. 
Cadwallader Jones in the Creek Nation, and I expect them here 
daily. — The Col. proposes purchasing a plantation in the Cane 
Brake for Allen. ^ — 

Remember me affectionately to the family, my love to Sister 
Mary, and believe me truly & faithfully 

Your Brother 
Frederic S. Blount 

P.S. Will you mention to N. G. Blount that I have not received his 
papers. — 

The Pettigrew Papers 215 

[Addressed] The Honble. John H. Bryan 
North CaroHna 

^Frederick (Frederic) S. Blount and John Herritage Bryan were half-brothers. 
Lemmon, Pettigrew Papers, I, xvi; Miller, "Recollections," 26; Ebenezer 
Pettigrew to James Cathcart Johnston, February 4, 1822, note, in this volume. 
Blount migrated to Alabama as a young attorney because he thought that state 
was more up-and-coming than North Carolina. Johnson, Ante-Bellum North 
Carolina, 37. 

^Allen Cadwallader Jones, son of Col. Cadwallader Jones, was an 1831 
graduate of the University of North Carolina. He went to Alabama, where he 
served in the state legislature; later he was a colonel in the Confederate army. 
Battle, History of the University, I, 794. 

Hicks and Smith to Ebenezer Pettigrew a&h 

New York November 15th 1833 

E Pettigrew Esq^ 

Dear Sir 

The price of Corn since the date of our last (the 26th ulto) has 
varied but Httle, at present it is rather dull, and rates are somewhat 
lower — North Carolina is worth 64(p to 66(P according to quality 
such as yours, if in prime order, and sound, would bring 72cp — 
Captain Combs informed us, just before he left here, that you 
talked of making Juniper Shingles, and would like to know how 
they sold in this place — The quantity consumed here now, is much 
less that formerly, in consequence of the almost general use of 
Slate and Tin for roofing — The present price of three feet shingles 
is $14y2 to $15 per thousand, and for two feet shingles $7y2 to 
$8 — The size of the three feet is 31 Inches long 672 to 7 Inches wide 
and % of an Inch thick — The size of the Two feet is 24 Inches long, 
and the same width and thickness as the three feet shingles — We 
paid on the 4th inst to Mr Cogswell for School expenses of your Son 
$2.50 — on the 5th inst to Doct^^ Vanderberg $30 — and on the same 
date to your Son William $30, all which sums are charged to your 
acct — Your Son William left here some days since for Boston, he 
was in perfect health — 

Yours with respect 
Hicks & Smith 
[Addressed] E Pettigrew Esqr. 
Cool Spring 
Washington County 

216 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

Asa Biggs^ to Ebenezer Pettigrew a&h 

Williamston Nov. 28. 1833. 


The last general meeting of the Stockholders of the Williamston 
& Windsor Turnpike Company were much gratified and derived 
important information by your letter received through their cor- 
responding committee and it was unaminously Resolved that the 
thanks of the meeting be tendered you for your esteemed favor — It 
now becomes my duty as it is a pleasure to communicate the same 
to you — 

The Directors have resolved to let out the Road to the lowest 
bidder on 16th December next — The Board meets here on 9^^ Deer 
for the purpose of deciding upon the plan of the road & to make 
other necessary arrangements. The Directors and several Stock- 
holders have requested me to communicate the same to you and 
solicit your attendance if it will suit your convenience — If not 
before we should be much pleased to see you here on 16th 

I should be glad to learn by the return mail that the time 
appointed will not conflict with any of your arrangements & that 
we may expect you — 

With much respect I am 
Yr. obt servt. 
Asa Biggs Secretary of the Board of 
Directors of W&WT.C. 
[Addressed] E. Pettigrew esquire 
Cool Spring 

'Asa Biggs (1811-1878), a jurist and United States senator (1854), was 
admitted to the bar in 1831 and practiced law in Williamston. President James 
Buchanan appointed him a federal judge in 1858. He was a delegate from 
Martin County to the North Carolina Constitutional Convention of 1835, a 
delegate to the Secession Convention, and a judge for the Confederate States of 
America. Powell, DNCB, I, 151-152; Henderson, North Carolina, II, 202, 223. 

Thomas Turner to Ebenezer Pettigrew a&h 

Ply mo NC Dec 5 1833 

Dear Sir 

Yours of the 4th jg this moment at hand. You say /that/ you wish 
to go to Williamston on Wednesday ll^h; that for this purpose you 
wish your Carriage to meet you in Washington on tuesday the 10<^h; 
that you have already ordered it to meet you in Plymouth on 
monday the 9th; but that here by your order it would stop to wait for 

The Pettigrew Papers 217 

you; and that you would have me send it on to you at Washington 
in order to take you to Wmston on the day mentioned. 

It shall be done precisely as you now direct, unless on the receipt 
of this you order otherwise. 

On tuesday next Cameron's negroes are to be sold by the Sheriff 
who has taken them under execution, and who will then sell them 
subject to the deed of trust: that is to say he will satisfy the deed of 
trust out of the sales, and apply the remainder of moneys to the 
execution. This I think he has authority to do, and if so, no doubt 
can arise as to the title which the purchaser will obtain. I mention 
this to you because I have heard that you would have bid on the 
negroes had they been sold at Court; and because you can easily 
reach Plymo /in time for the sale/ by the Stage on tuesday, and 
then Wmston from Plymouth in your carriage on Wednesday the 


Should you therefore wish me on the receipt of this not to send 
your carriage to Washington on tuesday, I shall let it remain here: 
If however I receive no letter from you giving that direction, I shall 
send it as directed in your letter received this day. 

One word more as to the deed for the lands you bought belonging 
to Davenport's heirs — I think you directed that when the deed 
should be written, it should be given to John D. Bennett that he 
might get the Coroner to sign it. Having conversed with Bennett 
and learnt from him that he cannot recommend the Coroner to sign 
the deed for Vv & Ve of a Vv^h of a certain tract; having understood 
from you that you hot the whole estate of the heirs being Vv^hs or 
more or less; /and/ having written the deed agreeably to your 
understanding of your purchase; I think it unnecessary to put it 
into Bennetts hands, as he would not act upon it; and therefore I 
shall keep it for your return together with the other title papers. 

I am very sincerely 


Th: Turner 

I think the negroes will sell very low; because I do not see that any 
persons wanting them and having the money are likely to be at the 
sale. Sale for cash. 

[Notation on hack\ 

It is important that M^^ Pettigrew should receive this letter that he 
may reply by the return of the mail on Saturday the 7*^ The P.M. 
could therefore oblige him & me by sending it as soon as it 
arrives — 

Th: Turner 

[Addressed] Ebenezer Pettigrew Esq 
Newbern NC 

218 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

Charles Lockhart Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew UNC 

Chapel-Hill Dec nth 1833 

Dear Father 

I recieved your letter about two weeks ago, which contained the 
mournful intelligence of brother James's death; it was quite an 
unexpected information, for I the rather expected to hear of his 
entire recovery to health than to recieve the information that he 
was no more, it is truly distressing to look back and observe the 
alteration which has taken place within a few years; when I see 
that there are now only three brothers I feel astonished and hardly 
know what to think; but it is all for some wise purpose and 
therefore let us feel resigned, perhaps brother James would never 
have been a healthy man and might have spent his days without 
much happiness; according to your wish I communicated the 
disagreeable intelligence to M^ Bingham. I observed, the other day 
the death of Uncle Charles's wife,^ it must have been very 
distressing to him having gone to Raleigh only a few days before, 
he is thus early in life deprived of an amiable and affectionate wife, 
she was a very fine woman and her loss is to be lamented by all her 
acquaintances. I have recieved frequent letters from brother 
William this Session his letters generally are very long and quite 
entertaining, his hand-writing is improving very fast, he now 
writes quite a decent hand, his diction too is much better than it 
formerly was; I think upon the whole he seems to have improved 
himself more within the last six months than I ever knew him in 
any length of time before. I am in hopes he writes you oftener than 
he did, In his letters to me he always expressed a wish to keep up a 
more frequent correspondance I am in hopes he will continue to 
improve knowing how important time now is. The vacation 
commenced day before yesterday, I have concluded to spend the 
greater part of my vacation on chapel-Hill not knowing how you 
wished me to spend it. I shall study good part of the time having no 
other way of spending my time but not so much as to render me 
unfit to go through with the next session. I have recieved my cloack 
about a month ago and am very much pleased with it, it fits me 
very neatly. You wished me to give you an account of my money I 
have at present about $15, which will last me during the vacation, 
but I shall want money for next session I shall need a certain sum 
by the first day of the session which is four weeks from this time the 
sum which I think will be sufficient will be $150 and if /it/ should 
not be enough I can apply for more but if it should be more than 
sufficient I can retain it for the next session the best way and the 
safest way is to send a check on some bank at New York which I 
can easily sell to the merchant at this place: do not think my dear 
father that I spent money uselessly, but be assured <of> that I 

The Pettigrew Papers 219 

mindful of my own interest, will take care of it. I am in very good 
heath and be assured of my tender regard for you as a kind parent 

Charles L. Pettigrew 
[Addressed] To M^ E. Pettigrew 
Cool Spring 
Washington Co 
N. Car. 

^This refers to the death of Lydia Jones Shepard. 

Ehenezer Pettigrew to George L. Jones a&h 

Lake Phelps Dec. 22, 1833. llociock at night 

My dear young friend, 

An hour ago, I received your fav^^" of the 20th J should not write to 
night, it being sunday, but I am moving the houses at Belgrade, 
and shall have no time in the morning, and wish to loos no time in 

As to Ives' land do not give his price anyhow Let him Keep it and 
eat it, and as to the other project, do abandon it, and never think of 
it again. 

Consider me the purchaser, and let me beseech you to get your 
horse and loose no time in starting for the southwest. Do not stay 
one hour longer than it will take to get in order to start. 

If you stay you will have all the difficulties to encounter that I 
had, and not one near to stay you, and you have not enough of the 
devil in you as I had to stand against all opposition, and therefore 
you can not succeed, which will mortify you to death, and be no less 
unpleasant to my feelings. The inhabitants of /the/ place you 
range in will be a dead weight against you and you never can get 
along. Therefore for my sake for my feelings as a friend, let me beg 
of you to quit, take your horse and go where no one will care what 
you do, if it is to cut your throat, and then you will rest upon your 
own energies, and have no one to paralise them. I say again 
consider me the owner of your purchase at the price & interest, I am 
perfectly willing to be the owner. When Charles & William are 
grown (if the poor boys should live) I will go there and commence 
opperations. It will give new life to my broken spirits. The funds for 
your purchase is not just at this time convenient, but a few months 
and I will be able to meet you. I say again quit the land, and be gone 
as quick as possible, there is a curse up it. Let it remain a howling 
wilderness. Quit the country and go to a place where all can exert 
themselves in there own way and may God Almighty protect you 
in this world and prepare you for that world when all will enjoy 

220 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

that blessing which is for the rightous, is the prayer of your sincere 

E. Pettigrew 

N.B. Do not give away the water shovel I sent you by Tom when 
you start for the west. You can however let Mr. B. take a patern 
from it. Donot wait, but go, go, go, go. 

Mr. George Jones dont hang about but go, go, go. Leave the 
Land. It is under a curse. It is doomed to be a howling wilderness. I 
subscribe myself what I always hope to be in this world (not to be 
shaken by every blast of wind) 

Ebenezer Pettigrew 
[Addressed] M^ George Jones 
N. Carolina 

Charles Lockhart Pettigrew to William Shepard Pettigrew unc 

Chapel-Hill, Jan 1st i834 

My dear brother 

Perhaps you will be somewhat astonished when you observe a 
letter from me knowing that this is the general time of the Chapel- 
Hill vacation; the vacation commenced on the 14th of Dec and will 
continue untill the 12th Jan, four weeks, it generally is so cold and 
disagreeable traveling in the winter vacation and with all the time 
is so very short for one having to travel so far before they arrive 
home that taking into consideration all these preventitives I 
thought it best not to go home. I have spent my vacation on the 
whole as agreeably as could be supposed, I have been to Hills- 
borough and made a stay of 3 days and have remained on the hill 
the remainder part of the time, reading books of different sorts, but 
have not read any novels, for I think that young /persons/ ought to 
employ their time re/a/ding some thing better which can afford 
solid food for the mind; for the mind as the body must (especially 
while it is in a growing state) have substantial fare to live /on/, 
and if it does not it soon withers away, and thereby renders it unfit 
to perform the functions for which it was made, the course of 
reading which is practiced by most young persons is very injurious 
to them, they frequently have the habitual practice of reding a little 
out of one thing and then out of another and not sticking to one 
thing long enough to know it merits but read untill they get tired 
and then lay it aside and take up another /and/ so on, every ought 
to persue a regular course of a reading after they acquire the age of 

The Pettigrew Papers 221 

twelve years, or sooner for a good habit can not be acquired at too 
early an age: Studies ought first to take up our attention and after 
we have examined our lesson thouroughly then sit down to reading 
some useful book or the plan /of/ some history: it is necessary also 
for persons by the time they enter upon the broad expanse of life to 
have formed some correct stile of writing and conversation, to the 
acquiring of which the best method is to select some author who 
stands high in the literary world for poducing the most cocise and 
at the same time beautiful composition, such as Addison you will 
find many of his numbers in the Spectator signed C. and also Arch 
Bishop Tillotson's works are deservedly celebrated for correctness 
of stile, I have them in reading myself and I think I shall read his 
entire works and endeavour to form a stile analogous to it. You 
wish to hear something about the report, I will state it as briefly as 
possible, no report was read out about the Senior Class but [James] 
Shepard is first though it is thought he will not get the Latin for 
some of the Faculty will /not/ give concientious votes. The Junior, 
[Thomas H.] Brown and [Haywood Williams] Guion first there 
were 8 persons turned back, three of which were Phis [John H.] 
Watson, [John L.] Gay, [Richard Benbury] Creecy The Sophomore 
4 fi[r]st and 7 second among whom was myself. Several recom- 
mended to study harder. The Freshmen 2 Emunds and Sims, 
Enoch [Sawyer] did not get <a mite> any thing, /one turned back, 
Seawell/ perhaps you are astonished to heare of my not being 
among the first, I was quite an Idle fellow last sesion. You have 
recieved that Catalogue and Badger's address^ /I sent you/. 

I have not writen you a letter since the death of our poor brother 
James, but it is truth he is no more, and perhaps it was a blessing to 
him to have been taken off so soon, and also I suppose you have 
heard of Uncle Charles' wife, while we have these two instances of 
human frailty before us it is but sutable for us to consider how 
liable to be taken from this world at any moment of time, and 
knowing that, certainly it is the height of wisdom to prepare for 
that awfull hour, and on the contrary the madness is inconceivable 
to neglect it, to be careless and seem as if we thought nothing of it. I 
received a letter from our dear father three or f/o/ur days ago, how 
much ought we to love and respect him and do every thing in our 
power to oblige him, for he is now [torn] home endeavouring to 
obtain a comfortable living for [torn] and to give us both good 
educations so as to take our stand among those that have some 
pretentions to literature. I am in hopes you write to him often, for it 
must be a great pleasure to him to get letters from his children; for 
hours pass very heavyly with /him when/ none of us /are/ with 
him to talk to /him/ and it ought to be a great preasure to us his 
children to gratify him when it is in our power. 


N.C. Division of Archives and History 

I think you are improving very much in your writing, sp/e/lhng 
and diction. I am in hopes you may continue to improve I am in 
hopes your letters will be long and interesting and about once 
every month as I shall write as often as that, I saw G[aston]. 
Wilder'^ at Hillsboro he is quite well 


Believe me to be ever affectionate 
Charles L Pettigrew 
To Mr William S. Pettigrew - 


^George E. Badger delivered an address before the Dialectic and Philanthropic 
societies at the University of North Carolina during the 1833 commencement. 
Battle, History of the University, I, 353. 

^Gaston H. Wilder was a student in Hillsborough at this time. He was an 1838 
graduate of the University of North Carolina and later served as a state senator 
and a Confederate government official. Battle, History of the University, 1, 441, 

Ebenezer Pettigrew's Tax List^ 
Tax list of E Pettigrew in Tyrrel County 1834 


6850 Acres Land on which I live 


38 Black Poles 

Tax list of E Pettigrew in Washington County 1834 

187 Acres on which the dwelling is placed 

at $10 


411/4 do hot of Willoby Phelps 



671/4 do 

' of Lewis 



4 do 

' of C<hatles>aleb Phelps 



450 do 

' of S. B. Carraway 


208 do 

' of S. Davenport 


28 do 

' ofJ. J. Phelps 


215 do 

' of Spencer Hall 


62 do 

' My part of Edmond Howell's 


62 do 

' Where W. F. Davenport lived 



100 do 

' On deep Creek 




The Pettigrew Papers 223 

The last pieces of land I perchased of the estate of W. F. Davenport 

at P sale 
10 Black Poles 

100 Acres hot of the heirs of Wodsen Spruil 200 

15241/2 815<5>1..09 

Black Polls in Tyrrell County 40 

Do do Washington do 12 

Dennis Dozier Ferebee^ to William Shepard Pettigrew unc 

Hillsborough Jan 2^ 1834 

Esteemed friend 

I do now for the second time resume my pen with the intention of 
addressing you a letter of the following import. As the pen and 
scrip is the only means in our present situation, to foster and 
initiate a mutual correspondance between us, to keep from receding 
and slumbering those affections of amicable and scholastic attach- 
ments towards you, and the cotemporary /students/ of this 
institution. I expect you think I have forgotten you, by my 
neglecting to write; but I assure you I have not had time, I have had 
to attend to lessons in my own class, and keep up with the class 
above, on the greek grammar, but though the intervening space 
between us is broad, yet, I assure you my esteemed friend, the 
respect which I have for you, draws my heart near to thee. How 
often does thy deportments which were left behind you, represent 
itself to me, and even while thinking on them I think I see your 
visage. But let me not waste my time on these encomiums which I 
have no doubt are manifest to you. I will in the next place give you 
the melancholy inlligence, that at the last examination at Chapel 
Hill, there was about twenty students turned back, (or using the 
school boys tech/n/ical term for it, glystered;) there was but two, 
out, of the class that left here last June among this number, they 
were Charles Nelms, & Sidney Smith. I believe I mentioned to you 
in my other epistle, that George Polk^ had been suspended from 
Chapel Hill, for blowing a trumpet after nine — o-clock. I herd that 
his father was very angry with him indeed, and put him out in the 
country under a peasant, to study mathematicks for two months; 
that being the time of his temporary cessation and at the end of it 
he returned to college again. There is very little news stiring in 
town, though business appears to /be/ brisk, and health as usual, 
good. I believe they are doing very little at the legislature; but I 

224 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

don't know <that> whether that is necessary to mention, for you 
know that is ordinarirly the case. A day or two after the sitting of 
the legislature, it was supposed they would adjourn and go to 
Fayetteville, on the account of the smallpock there; there is now 
two cases of it <there>, and I am very sure they will have several 
more. They are about a school in Raleigh, which I am very sure will 
be better for scholars in some respect than Chapel Hill. The 
buildings are now commenced and will be carried on very brisk, 
though I know not what time they will have them done. The 
statehouse appears to go on very slow; they are now at the top of 
the first windows; it is thought by most persons that when it is 
done, it will be one of the most magnificent /buildings/ any where 
south of the of the Potomach river. ^ Gaston Wilder informed me 
to-day, that he had received your last letter, and will answer it 
shortly; he is now (as well as myself) enjoying all the pleasures of a 
social and agreeable life, as far as a scholar is permitted. I believe 
he and myself are the only two, of the number of those, that were 
here when you were, that remain here this vacation; we spend our 
time mostly in hunting M^ Price has got married, and has brought 
his wife to Hillsborough, <he> her visage I assure you is very 
homely; but I am informed she is very accomplished indeed, and 
indeed I inform you, she has one of the most magnificent voices, 
that nature ever bestowed upon a female. This lady in question, is 
far inferiour as to her beauty, to that one whose very name is so 
melodious to you; but she will be shortly where you may see her 
cheeks, which are more beautiful than the rose, and her eyes, 
which I anticipate you think, even excelles the Gazelles, in beauty, 
and brilliancy. Do not think these adulations which I anticipate 
you have concerning that lady, to be reciprocal to me, for I assure 
you that there is one whom I think, is as handsome as Venus as 
graceful Juno and as stately as Minerva; whom she be, I shall not 
pretend to tell thee; but do not fear it to be you procus. Your dear has 
left here, and has gone to Edenton; she will in the course of a few 
weeks, leave there, and go to New Haven. But I have now spent 
enough time, paper, and ink, about foolishness, for [torn] afraid I 
shall tire out your patience with my heedless and <and> insipid 
letter. You will, (by excusing my numerous mistakes and respond- 
ing to this immediately) do me a very great favour. 

I am with respect and esteem 
your dear friend 
D. D. Ferebee 
[Addressed] M^ W^ Pettigrew 

The Pettigrew Papers 225 

^Dennis Dozier Ferebee of Currituck County graduated from the University 
of North CaroHna in 1839. He later served several terms in the state legislature, 
was a delegate to both the Secession Convention and the Constitutional 
Convention of 1865, and was a colonel of cavalry in the Confederate army. 
Battle, History of the University, I, 459, 796. This letter indicates that he had 
been a schoolmate of William Shepard Pettigrew at Hillsborough Academy. 
Other letters from Ferebee not included in this volume may be found in the 
Pettigrew Family Papers, UNC. 

^George Washington Polk was the son of Col. William Polk (1758-1834). He 
also had been a schoolmate of William Shepard Pettigrew at Hillsborough 
Academy. Paul H. Bergeron (ed.), "My Brother's Keeper: William H. Polk Goes 
to School," North Carolina Historical Review, XLIV (April, 1967), 190n, 192, 
192n, 197n. 

^Construction of the new state Capitol began in 1833. The building, designed 
by Ithiel Town and David Paton, did become known as a fine example of Greek 
Revival architecture. Lefler and Newsome, North Carolina, 352. 

Ehenezer Pettigrew to William Shepard Pettigrew unc 

City Hotel New York Feb, 16, 1834 

My dear William, 

Some time in the last month, I received a letter from you as well 
as Mr Cogswell that the school at Round Hill was breaking up, and 
I determined to go and see you, accordingly I set out on the last of 
that month, but have been unable to get any farther than this place 
from bad health, where I shall stay untill you arrive which you will 
do as soon as you can possibly square up your matters at Round 
Hill. With regard to your matras [mattress], you must do with it the 
best you can. If it could be conveyed without much cost to New 
York, M^^ Hicks would then send it without any to Carolina. My son 
you will leave nothing at Round Hill, such as book, trunks, /or/ 
cloths but bring them down with you. 

My dear Son, of all things leave no debts behind but let the 
smallest ones be paid. Call on M^ Cogswell /who/ will have I 
suppose a surplus as the se/s/cion will close so much before its 
usual time. You will bring M^ Cooswell account settled in full & any 
surplus funds, and if none M^^ Hicks will settle the remainder when 
Mr C. comes to the City which will be before he goes to North 

I got Mr Hicks to write to /M^/ C. yesterday the purport of this 
letter, & I should have written you at the same time but was 
prevented. I send you a duplicate of this letter by the next mail least 
this might miss carry. Believe me to be with sincere Love and 
affection your father 

E Pettigrew 

226 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

N.B. When you arrive at the City, come direct to the City Hotel & 
enquire at the bar for M^ Pettigrew. 

Receipt for Payment for Pigs UNC 

March 14th 1834. 

Reed of Ebenezer Pettigrew (by the hand of Henry Alexander) three 
Dollars in full payment, of a sow and sum pigs, which I say, that 
your man Bill killed, and also in full Debs, Dues, and Demand; of 
kind and sorts up to this Date Given under my hand 

Nancy a spruill 
Saml C Patrick 

Ebenezer Pettigrew to John Herritage Bryan unc 

Lake Phelps March 29, 1834 

My dear Sir, 

I receivd your favour of the 12th Feb. on my return from the 
North. It contained information respecting my dear little Nancys 
cough which I was very desirous to know while I was gone. I would 
have liked to have been informed how the disease was with your 
children, several of whome I think I learned from Sister Marys 
letter had it, also how Francis' cough was. In my leasure or without 
leasure hours these questions enter my mind. I regret to learn that 
Sister Mary is low spirited. I fear the burden of so large a family is 
too great for any spirits, but she must & I know will bring 
Christianity to her aid. She must recollect that she yet has with her 
all her dear offspring, they have been spared to her by a kind 
providence. While I am writing of large families it reminds me that 
I have two fat heaves, one or both of which I think of sending to my 
dear friends in Newbern, they will leave without something occurs, 
about the 7th next month. I do not know whether they are out of 
season or not, but I know that about this /time/ fresh provision is 
scarce. I have no one with me but the overseer & one dear son, we 
are by the nature of the case bound to live hard. One of my great 
punishments is to direct what is to /be/ prepared for the next meal. 
I do not know how far I am right in withholding from my house 
hold (not the necessaries of life but) the little luxuries; I am for my 
self willing to mortify the flesh, to any extent. 

My dear son William is with me, he has grown exceedingly, in 
stature and I think as much in mind & deportment. In truth he 

The Pettigrew Papers 227 

gives me no trouble, and of coarse a great deal of consolation. 
When in New York I sent to the Miss Mary's a writing desk a piece, 
tell the dear little girls that the old man expects to receive a letter 
from them writen on those desks, before long. 

I am glad to learn that you have matched Jackson (not old 
General Jackson; for his match is not to be found in this world) but 
the horse Jackson, I hope Sister Mary will ride in more safety 
without which there is no <safety> comfort. It would be impossible 
to sell Clay in this county. Money is awfully scarce in /this/ 
quarter, and I know not what the class who live by <this> geting 
shingles will do for bread, there is no doubt but they will suffer 

I could wish <to> very much to visit you but my time is very 
much occupied with my necessary business. It would have given 
me great pleasure to have been with you at the time you mention, 
but there seems a fatality attending the Bishop and myself geting 
together. In our moving through this world more than a half dozen 
times have we been in the same town & not seen each other. It is the 
farthest from my wishes to avoid him. I have yet some affection of 
the head occasionally & particularly when excited, from any 
cause. I can feal it in a measurable degree by a half dozen signs 
with mental affection to produce them. I avoid even language 
which will excite, as much as possible. I am now under medicine 
which the Doctor says will undoubtedly relieve. That or company 
has relieved me in a great degree, so that for days I /have/ none of 
it. I regret that our banks are so backward in geting into 
opperation, but they could not have commenced in a worse time. 
Had it not been for the present state of things, I think I should have 
<my> subscribed for a small amount, but if I can now hold on I 
shall do well. If ever a debt /of gratitude/ was paid in this world, 
the people of the United States have paid their debt to General 

I hope Sister Marys health is better and that your self & Children 
are in that enjoyment, Please to remember me affectionately to her 
and all my dear friends with you & 

Believe me sincerely & truely 

your friend & relative 

E Pettigrew 

John H. Bryan esqr 

[Addressed] John H. Bryan Esqr 
North Carolina 

228 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

Mary Blount Shepard to Ebenezer Pettigrew UNC 

New Bern April 14. 1834. 

My dear son 

Pompey arrived with the beeves last Friday and I am exceedingly 
obliged to you for mine. I was quite sick and confined to my room 
when they came but am better to day, Johnston is in better health 
than I have ever seen him, he had an attack of croup about six 
weeks ago which left him with a cough for a short time, the rest of 
us are tolerable well except Mary who has been unwell for 
sometime and I fear her health and constitution are gone, Penelope 
also has been sick a greater part of the winter, you express a wish 
for me to visit you this spring but it will be out of my power to do so, 
Mary expects to be confined every day and I cannot think of 
leaving her at this time, she is very low-spirited and has taken up a 
notion that she will never get up again. 

I wish very much to go /to/ the convention in May if I can, 
Charles left here three weeks ago for New York and when he will 
return I do not know. 

M^ [John M.] Roberts gave me 40 D 25 Cts of your money and I 
paid My Pasteur^ for your paper as you requested, I sent M^^ Roberts 
a very fine peice of the beef with your respects and sent a good 
many of my acquaintances (not friends for they are scarce) a piece. 

You are so kind & make me so many presents I do not know how I 
shall repay your kindness, I shall be very glad to see you & William 
whenever you can leave home. I have kept Pompey to day to put 
away my beef & shall start him to morrow which will be the 15 of 
the month. Penelope joins me in love to you and William and 
believe me 

your affectionate mother 
Mary Shepard 
[Addressed] M^ Ebenezer Pettigrew 
Lake Phelps, 
Tyrrel county. 

^Probably this was John I. Pasteur, an owner and editor of the Carolina 
Sentinel in New Bern. Miller, "Recollections," 57. 

Charles Lockhart Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew unc 

Chapel-Hill April 16th 1834 

Dear Father. 

I received your letter, dated at home, a few days since; I was sorry 
to learn of your indisposition, it certainly must be very troublesome 

The Pettigrew Papers 229 

to you. You mentioned that brother WilUam had come home, and 
was very much improved in size, manners and disposition. I am in 
hopes he will continue to improve; I know from his letters to me he 
has gained considerable knowledge, his hand writing had become 
tolerable his diction and spelling much better than it was formerly. 
I have purchased this mare, as you have found out, she is one of the 
best animals I ever saw, I went to Hillsborough last Saturday on 
her, and when we got there, although we rode a pretty good gait, 
she did not exhibit the least appearance of being tired; to be candid 
about it, I do not expect you, at first, will like my bargain, but when 
she is tried she will prove herself, she is one of the easiest and best 
saddle horses I ever saw, so that I almost wish she could remain so, 
she has plenty of spirits, and when I ride I never pretend to use 
either whip or spur, she is of good blood her sire being the "Irish 
man" I saw the <her> horse is quite a good looking animal, I have 
understood that this mare is swift-footed. I gave a hundred and 90 
dollars for her and to be kept in the village untill June, and to be at 
my service when ever I wish to ride, I had an offer to sell her the<r> 
other day, the gentleman offered 75 $ and a horse of his own which 
horse he has since sold for $75, but I concluded I had rather keep 
the mare than part <whi> with her even for that price. M^" 
Bingham at Hillsboro passed sentence on her and said I had give a 
good price but she was a fine animal, she is six years old this 
spring, she is peculiarly valuable to me having to ride so far next 
vaction; I am in hopes you will be pleased with her when she has a 
fair trial. 

I have just received your letter of the 14th i have received several 
letters from you since you left home for the no/r/th and my reason 
for not writing then was that I did not know where to direct my 
letters, about <a> a week and a half since I received brother 
William's letter stating your return home; and intended to write 
home in about the usual time after having received yours. In your 
letter before the last you spoke of brother William's coming to 
college next June <and> wishing me to send him a catalogue of 
studies, I shall send him one with this letter, his class will then be 
entering the sopomore year and he of course will stand for that 
class, the Faculty have some notion of raising the standard of 
studies, and therefore I would advise him to attend diligently to 
<me> them, for I should dislike /for/ him to be rejected: Also with 
respect to /a/ room I have at present a very fine one thought by 
some to the best in college and we can room together very well, for 
as you remarked in one of your letters "a two fold cord is stronger 
than one" my health is as good now as it ever was, My dear Father 
I am in hopes you will not in the least suppose my affection for you 
is cooling or that I have become callous to the many benefits I have 
received at your hand, give my love to brother William and tell him 

230 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

I shall write him in about a fortnight and be <su> assured that I 
still remain dutiful 

Charles L Pettigrew 
[Addressed] M^ E. Pettigrew Esq 
Cool Spring 


Charles Lockhart Pettigrew 
to William Shepard Pettigrew unc 

Chapel Hill May 1834 

Dear brother 

I expect father has received my last letter some time since and 
now I shall attempt to answer your letter, I hope you will have no 
more cause to complain of my not writing, at least when I do write I 
shall endeavour to give you a full letter, though I shall take care not 
to be so long as to trouble you with reading. In your letter, you gave 
me a cursory recital of your journey home ward from the north, I 
wish<ed> you<r> had delt more in particulars, and <have> had 
given me a minute detail of circumstances as they presented 
themselves to your astonished view; perhaps it might afford me 
that pleasure which you speak of as having reaped; in the latter 
part of your letter you spoke of your health by saying "it was as 
usual" now if I had have been in the habit of receiving letters from 
you I might have then know how to have understood you, and such 
an expression would have been allowable, therefore you will please 
to explain how it usually is and then I shall have the satisfaction of 
thouroughly knowing you exact state. 

You expect to come here next session and join college, I would 
advise you to apply yourself diligently the short time you remain 
home, and for this reason because I fear unless you are a good 
<schl> scholar you will not be able to enter the sophomore class; 
the faculty and trustees have determined to advance the standard 
of studies, that is to make the entrance into college more difficult in 
asmuch as they will have to know more and so also with every 
other class, for that reason those who enter the sophomore will 
have to be well versed in the studies. I sent you a catalogue the 
other day of the studies which I am in hopes you will persue 
exactly; in the second session you find algebra the distance to 
which classes generally go is through the article on Quadratic 
equations. I should be very sorry if you were not to get in I would 
advise you to study very hard so as to be sure, for in your not being 

The Pettigrew Papers 231 

ad<d>mited you would not only feel yourself but also subject your 
<self> friends and relations to the same bad feeling; however I 
hope you will be ad<d>mited it will depend with <your self> 
yourself. It is universally the case that almost all who come to 
college, when they first arrive on the hill and join their class, seem 
to be fully determined to study hard <finally> and for what? why 
this is the reason they hope to speak the "latin"^ when they 
graduate indeed I say these <who> are but few, who come here; 
without pretentions for the "Latin": in one year how many drop off 
and become idle lazy and a perfect pest to college, in the <the> 
begin/n/ing of the sophomore year there are not more than 6 out of 
a class of 35, see what an awful decrease the forths have given out 
the idea and become spendthrifts sots and every thing that is 
disgraceful, in the commencement of the junior how many do we 
find then that hold out there may be 4 and in the senior not more 
than one or two. thus I have given you a history of fellows running 
for the Latin: you /can/ now very easily guess by what sort of a 
principal they are actuated, and how evanesent it is. Let us look 
<us> into the principal itself giving it a candid and minute 
examination without bias either to one side or the other being 
guided by truth in our investigation: the fact of running for the 
"Latin" comes under the head of ambition, that is a desire to excell 
others and why? to be above them and have the pleasure of looking 
down upon your inferiors, not a desire to be more thorough 
scholars than they are and to have improved time better than they 
have. Oh no, but a mere desire to be said to be superior to them, if 
they were all miserably bad scholars, the latin man would only 
care to be a little above, if they knew nothing about the studies they 
had been over he would content himself to know /only/ so much 
about them that is the studies as to give him a superior place: Now I 
put the question what sort of a man would you suppose him to be 
who is governed by such motives? it does not require a moment's 
time to answer, he must have a domineering spirit and one which 
would go to any lengths to gratify it's sordid and unbounded 
ambition <who with out> ruled alone by interest without any 
regard to the rules of justice and right whenever they came in 
contact with it. Perhaps you would here be ready to say and do you 
really believe that every /latin/ man is influenced by such 
motives? I answer most assuredly in the negative at the same time 
using an old but pert adige, "there are exceptions to all general 
rules" yes there are some who are pressing after that mark <who> 
that are as honerable as any men to be found in the whole country, 
but the majority of them are as dark and revengeful as the grave, 
men so entirely devoted to their own interest that they neglect 
every thing in stead of that. You might here be ready to say <your> 
according to your doctrine a person must study only enough to 

232 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

stand respectably, I answer no that it is the duty of every person 
while at college to attend to his duties well; I am very far from 
saying that every person who speaks the latin makes it the object 
of his persute his chief aim, no, no, many a person has spoken the 
first speach, who has made knowledge and literature his aim and I 
say that ought to be the way a man should act. 

Continuing the same subject the next question I would ask is 
whether a person making the latin the end of all his cares and toils 
in the end: is as thorough a sc/h/olar as he who only makes it 
object to learn; the former is not influenced by any love for 
literature and therefore he does not persue it with that intense 
interest which he ought to; he confines himself to get those parts 
well on which he supposes he will the taken up and those question 
alone which he thinks will be asked; but how does the latter 
conduct himself [what] sort of a course does he adopt, one entirely 
different? yes [torn] urged to his studies by a love for them and an 
ardent wish to make himself of the several subjects on which they 
treat, he does not confine himself to the particular parts on which 
he may be taken but gets the whole of it he not only solves the 
questions which may be asked but also every other one connected 
with the subject at what conclusion do you now arrive? most 
certainly this, that the first one is a man entirely superficial 
without having the least solidity not to be depended /on/ in any 
thing which requires knowledge and that the latter is a man of 
great depth and soundness one to be depended on <and under> in 
any circumstaces with which he has ever become acquainted. I 
wish time would allow me to finish my remarks but I hope you will 
consider them well and frame you conduct accordingly I am at 
present very well; give /my/ love to Father and be assured of my 
affection for yourself 

Charles L Pettigrew 
[Addressed] M^ William S Pettigrew 
Cool Spring 
Washington Co 


^The delivery of the Latin salutatory was the highest honor given to a 
member of the graduating class at the university. 

The Pettigrew Papers 233 

William Woodley to Ehenezer Pettigrew a&h 

Edenton 3rd May 1834 
Mr E. Pettigrew, 

Dear Sir 

Last winter during my stay at Mr Harrisons, I was going to the 
Lake but heard that you was gone to the north and Mr Davenport 
was in the Shingle /Swamp/ geting Shingles and there was no 
white person at your house — on your returne from the north, I 
heard you was in Plymouth — I went to town the next morning to 
See you there but you had Set out for the Lake in the morning 
before I got there — and two days after that — I Received a letter 
from Mr Johnston Requesting me to go over and See him that he 
might give me Some directions about his work before he returned 
up the river — Mr Johnston Set me to geting Timber with his hands 
to Build a house for a Steam Mill — Mr Johnston was well when he 
left home — and he is not yet returned — 

Dear Sir, though I am some distance from you and do not see you 
often, yet I allways keep in remembrance the good advice and 
business you have given to me — that got me out of debt — it was by 
your kindness and Recommendation, that got me into Mr Johnstons 
employ — and I Shall allways feal greatfull and give to you my 
Sincere thanks for your goodness — if I can get time to leave Mr 
Johnstons work this Summer I will come to See you if I am alive 
and well — and bring with me the Pinion pattorn — I am Sorrow it 
has been neglected so long — if you Should want it before — Please 
to inform me and I will Send it to you — my health is reasonably 
good at this time — and I hope you will have the Pleasure to inform 
me that your Self Sons and Daughters are all in good health — and I 
remain yours etc. 

Most Respectfully 
W. Woodley 
[Addressed] Ebenezer Pettigrew Esqr 
Cool Spring Post office 
Washington County 

Thomas Trotter to Ehenezer Pettigrew UNC 

Prospect Hill May 17th i834 

Dear Friend 

Your favour of April 4th i received with pleasure I was going to 
write to you when I was informed by ^[noad B.\ Carraway that 

234 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

you had gone to the Northard, I also should wrote you some days 
after receiving your letter had not M^ Bryan told me he expected 
you here at the Convention, he was here and expected to have seen 
you, had you been here you would been amused, to me it put me on 
Mind of St Bartholemews fair in London, there was about 25 
Carriages constantly parading the Streets, some times whites & 
sometimes Blacks & some times empty those who had Carriages 
would neither go to Church or Visit for 200 Yards, but must have a 
Carriage, in the time of worship, after carrying the owners to 
Church, the Carriages were occupied in carrying Whites & Blacks 
a pleasuring round Towen untill sermon was over when they than 
waited at Church for the Nobility, there was a great many people 
here, and a great part paid attention to divine service, <and> and a 
good many did not, but appeared as if they came to a frolik of 
eating & drinking, on Saturday night they were putting the Town 
to right, by taking the head boards or stones from the Graves & 
putting against peoples doors & saying the burial of the dead, such 
bad behaviour was disgracefull. I am glad it was not done by the 
Citisons of Washington, there are wild Characters, every where & 
they ought to be stayd at home, there were a great many 
respectable people here, from Raleigh, Faytteville, Wilmington, 
Halifax, Tarborough, Greenville, Newbern & Edenton &c &c. there 
never was the like here before, & I believe the People spared no 
pains to treat them well, what was done in Church I cannot tell as I 
did not go there, some people spoke in favour of the abilitys of the 

I am exceedingly sorry that you was taken so strongly with the 
headach did the Physition, give you any information what to do if 
it should return as it seemed to be so singular a Case, it would be 
well for you to know, should it return, to be prepared for an attack, 
as it is generally very sudden, and you are often without Company, 
I was Glad to be informed by you that you had brought home your 
Son William, which will Yield you much comfort and pleasure by 
his Company, I was happy to hear that he has made such good 
progress in his learning, I hope you and him will enjoy good health 
after so much fatigue in bad health also. 

In your Visit to Washington you did not say that you saw old 
Hickery and his Kitchen Cabinet, if you had you might well said 
they were the greatest Scoundrels could be produced in the United 

It is reported in Newspapers that /they/ want to go to Warr with 
France for them not complying with the Treaty for their Spoliations 
with us^ if that is the case we shall want the deposits, we shall want 
a National Bank also, for their favorite Banks have no credit 
abroad. I expect they will be persuaded what to do, I am sorry for 
the French refusing to comply with the Treaty on my own Account, 

The Pettigrew Papers 235 

I expected to have got part of Burbank Claim in August next, and 
should have tryed to sold the Ballance, which would releaved me of 
my difficultys, which must now continue some monts longer for 
the French Government a Great part is in favor of it, /of our 
Claim/ and our real government intends to push for a compliance 
of it. M'^ Adams speech in Congress wishes to make the French 
government comply to the Treaty. 

The Season here with us is remarkably dry, What corn is up does 
not grow, and there has been a great deal killed by the frost, Cottin 
has been in light ground entirely killed down, and what has stood 
in general is much injured, there is many people would plant over if 
they had seed. Vegetation seems to be entirely at a stand. 
Turpentine makers suffers, the trees does / does not yield the 
turpentine it is so dry, My wheat is much Injured first by the wett 
and now the drowth causes the heads to be very short, and a good 
deal of lace Cheat in it, it is now beginning to turn, My oats has 
been also much injured by the wett & now dry weather. I never saw 
so much wet at one time before as we had in April my low ground 
was nearly all covered, yet if it seasonable I hope to make a good 
Crop of Corn, all kind of produce are low here Corn is $3 by the 
quantity, there is but little in Market, what comes is from up the 
river there is none from Matamuskeet this season they made such 
bad crops last season, and navel stores are low also, there is no 
money stirring, Jackson has the whole blame, even the Lumber 
from the steam mill meets no cash contracts, our fishers has been 
very unprofitable this season Herrings are scarce at <$50> $4.50 a 

I observe you are making great improvements on Belgrade, there 
is nothing like it as I expect you intend it for one of your Children, 
your experience in bulding & planing, will be done cheaper & better 
than they could do it. 

in the death of Colo Tarkinton his Estate cannot be more 
embarassed than I expected, I am in hopes it is more healthy in 
your neighborhood than it has been. 

I have injoyed very good heath since I saw you. M^s Trotter has 
been very sick Elena is gone with M^ Weatherby to Alabama much 
against her inclination and ours 

I am much distressed in my mind in my family affairs as well, 
with Burbank affairs, my two son in laws are at enmity against 
each other, for which shall have the largest share of what property 
I have left, I will write you fully on this next letter as also my other 
concerns, there is no person I can reveal my thoughts to so well as 
to you, Mrs Trotter has recovered her health so as to be about, she 
joins me in compts to you and William hoping your health will 

I remain Dear Friend Affectionatly Yours 

Thomas Trotter 

236 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

[Addressed] Eben^" Pettigrew esq>" 
Lake Phelps 
Tyrrel County 

^ In 1831 the United States had concluded a treaty to secure settlement of more 
than 12 milUon dollars in claims against France that arose mainly from the 
confiscation of American shipping between 1806 and 1810. When France failed 
to comply with the treaty, the threat of war arose. With British mediation in 
1836, the dispute was resolved diplomatically. Wayne Andrews (ed.), Concise 
Dictionary of American History (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1962), 
385-386, hereinafter cited as CD AH; Henry Blumenthal, France and the United 
States: Their Diplomatic Relations, 1789-1914 (Chapel Hill: University of 
North Carolina Press, 1970), 44. 

Hicks Smith and Company to Ehenezer Pettigrew a&h 

New York June 24th 1834 

E Pettigrew Esq 

Dear Sir 

We enclose your sales of cargo p'' the Lady of the Lake netting 
$133356/100 to your credit, and also bill of articles sent by the same 
vessel amounting to $43038/ioo — we paid to Capt Dunbar on your 
account $150 — the freight and carting of the wine is $3, and the 
cost of binding the "American Farmer" is $1. — We find that there 
is very little negro cloth in market, and most of that is inferior, and 
as the supplies for the Fall will arrive by the return of your vessel, 
we thought it better to wait until then, when we shall be able to do 
better — we have some doubt, whether the best Blankets now sent, 
are not too good, for the purpose you want them, we should like to 
know how you like them, as the information may be of service to us 
in future purchases — we will have the Harness made in time to 
send by the next Trip, and will give the maker particular charge as 
to the quality of the Leather — The quality of your Corn was very 
good, and it brought about 5^ pr bushel more, than the ordinary 
quality from your State, the price of the latter being about 6P — The 
supplies of this article continue to be quite light, but the price of 
whiskey, and other Kinds of Grain are so low, that it will be 
difficult for the price of corn, to advance materially — The growing 
crop of wheat in the northern and western sections of this State are 
very promising both as to the quantity and quality, and it is the 
opinion of Dealers in flour that unless some foreign demand should 
take place prices will be low it is probable that the first new wheat 
in market, will bring about $1 12/100 and that subsequent arrivals 

The Pettigrew Papers 237 

will go for something less — Red oak Hhd Staves $20— white oak do 

Yours with respect 
Hicks Smith & Co 
[Addressed] E Pettigrew Esqr 
Cool Spring 
Washington County 
N. Carolina 

John Herritage Bryan to Ehenezer Pettigrew unc 

New Bern July 3. 1834 

My dear Sir, 

I returned from Raleigh last Saturday night and found all well 
here — two or three of the children (Mary Pettigrew & Charles 
particularly) look rather puny, and M^s B. thinks that a trip to 
Beaufort would be of great service to them. 

Our family seems destined to trouble — James Shepard the day 
after commencement, caned Hayw^ Guion for having used Some 
vulgar language respecting — whom would you think? Mary W 
Bryan!!! the sister of your departed wife. — 

We have had the town during my absence /very much excited/ 
on account of a fight between some of Dixon's apprentices /on one 
side/ — and Alex: & Herritage Blount and a son of W^ Street^ on the 
other; in the course of which, Herritage stabbed two of the 
apprentices one of them dangerously. — they have since recovered. 

Johnston & Nancy are in very good health, and I am pleased to 
inform you that here Johnston behaves very well, and is easily 
managed. -- 

You allude in your letter to Penelope, to a letter to M^s Bryan — 
this she has not received. — 

I heard nothing new in Raleigh, I saw the Bishop, his health was 
so indifferent that he did not preach. — M^ Hogg returned in fine 
health, but in a day or two after his return, had a very violent 
attack of Vertigo & fell prostrate. — 

The Episcopal School seems to have made a very fair start — they 
have about 50 students in the whole, about 30 of which are 

Penelope says that the last of this month will be time enough for 
her to leave here for Hillsbo. — 

Our town is full of idle, discontented people, whose vicious 
appetites seem to crave scandal for their daily food, the place is 
hardly fit for an honest man to live in; & the country seems to be so 

238 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

impoverished as to afford no business worth pursuing. — The times 
seem to be evil indeed. — I should like very much to hear some good 
news — it would be a rarity. — 
Mary & Penelope desire to be affectionately presented to you. — 

Very truly 
yr friend & relation 
Jn H. Bryan 
[Addressed] E Pettigrew Esq^' 
Cool Spring 

^Alexander Clement Hall Blount (1816-1912) was a son of Dr. Frederick 
Blount; possibly Herritage Blount was, also. The other participant mentioned 
was a son of William R. Street and his wife, nee Saunders. Powell, DNCB, 1, 178; 
Miller, "Recollections," 46. Alexander Blount married Julia Elizabeth Washing- 
ton (1824-1888) on October 26, 1843, and settled in Florida. Parish Register of 
Christ Church, New Bern, Marriages, 138; Hamilton and Williams, Graham 
Papers, VH, 602n. 

[Dr. J Frederick Vanderburgh to Ebenezer Pettigrew UNC 

New York 4th Aug 1834 

My dear friend 

I have taken the liberty to send by your Lady of the Lake another 
horse power & threshs machine which you may keep or sell as you 
like— It runs with less power than the other & threshes faster & as 

Your overseer will know how to put it in motion — Would it not be 
easier for you to thresh your wheat in the field & afterwards throw 
the straw into your yard or leave it where it is for manure — the 
Dutch farmers of Maryland do so & save all their wheat by 
spreading 60 or 70 yds of Canvass about the machine. 

If rain comes up they throw the straw over the wheat, that keeps 
it dry — after threshs they put this hor[se] power to a wheel on their 
farming mill & clean it all on the spot — You will perceive that half 
the multiplying power is on the machine & half on the horse power 
so that the power can be applied to various uses. The teeth in the 
machine is a little longer & the throat layer for the passage of the 
straw that enables it to thresh faster than the other 

I can easily fit a horse power by your model if you want it; but you 
can thresh with the one you have with the machine 100 ft above the 
power if you wish — It is ascertained by experiment that the longer 
the strap, the easier the machine runs & you can thresh easier with 
your power on the ground & machine in the 2d or 3^ story than to 
have them close together 

The Pettigrew Papers 239 

I wish when your schooner returns you would throw the big 
wheel of the first horse power on board & let me put it in right 
order — the wedge that holds it on the shaft is iron & it wants 2 more 
wedges fitted in — I sent a cold chisel & some wedges to cut new key 
seats & put in new wedges but we had better do it here — 

My family are all at Saratoga & I am living a Bachelors life — . 
Give my respects to your Son & believe me sincerely your friend 

F. Vanderburgh 
[Addressed] E Pettigrew Eqr 
Cool Spring 
Washington County 
North Carolina 

Ehenezer Pettigrew to William Shepard Pettigrew UNC 

Lake Phelps Aug 29, 1834 

My Dear William 

I received your letter of the 16^^ by the last mail, and although 
you wrote in great haste and it was pretty much of a scribble yet I 
was very glad to receive it, hoping you will take more pains when 
you get settled down & quiet at your studies. You did not say what 
class you joined. The faculty rejecting you on Arithmatic was a 
little surprising, but I should take no notice of it. It is a sufficient 
lesson for you, to know that you must be circumspect or worse will 
come of it. They have the power and the majority of what is called 
the higher class will go with them, no matter what they do, to the 
great prejudice & sometimes ruin of a boy, and I would advise you 
& I now enjoin it on you to deport yourself towards them all with 
the strictest propriety, obeying the laws in all things, and thereby 
you force them into justice. I fear they would be pleased to have an 
opportunity to disgrace one of my sons, from the dislike M^" 
Cal[c?]well has to their father; but my dear give them not that 
pleasure and that tryumph over your poor forlorn Father. Let him 
rise into notice through the excellence of his children, and every- 
thing depends on you two older sons conduct in the outset in life. 
Therefore my dear son as you value your poor disconsolate Fathers 
little remaining comfort, & the happiness & prosperity of your 
younger brother & dear little innocent sisters, let your conduct be 
mild & orderly, attentive to your studies and thereby laying up a 
stock of information for future life, which will put you above the 
frowns of /the/ proud & self sufficient part of the community. My 
son, let me insist on your not reading novels, they will inevitably 

240 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

destroy your taste for every thing else, and be assured they are as 
infatuating is ardent spirits. 

I am going on as usual. M'' Davinport returned in due time from 
N. York, in good spirits but he soon got in the dumps. He has been 
nearby ever since at Belgrade ditching; all which ditches I shall 
have compleated next week. M^ Tarkenton will nearly compleat 
two of the house chimneys this week. He would have been farther 
forward but he was two weeks at the Lake pilering the smoke house 
& horse stable which was settling very much from the roting of the 

I have purchased Jordan Phelps land at one thousand dollars, so 
that I shall now be able to square up on that side. I am diging a five 
feet ditch on the side of the Poplar neck road to Doughs & Claytons 
so that no water can remain in those back grou/n/ds a day. The 
wheat netted above a fraction over 95 cents and in loading the 
schooner again I found that I own enough /corn/ to load her. M^ 
Hicks wrote me that it would be worth 70 cents, the Captain has 
sailed 16 days but I fear the head winds have been against him. 
Though the wheat neted more than I expected & the corn should 
command the price above, yet the thousand dollars /I have to pay 
for the land/ with other expences will leave me but enough to go 
through the year. My dear sons I am making great /exertions &/ 
sacrifises for your interest let me ask of you to make some for your 
selves. I am doing my duty to you let me ask of you to do your to 
yourselves, and let me say this to you which never forget, be united, 
Love one another. A two fold cord is not easily broken, without 
unity you must fall. Tell Brother Charles I should like to get a line 
from him & to know whether he paid <my> & has he paid my E.P. 
[Episcopal] school subscription, also has he got from N[ew Bern]. 
to C. Hill. 

I received a letter from little Mary two mails ago she <was> 
expressed great pleasure at seeing her brothers how did her 
brothers feel towards them. 

Your uncle Frederick was with me last week our conversation 
produced a good deal of excitement in me & my head has suffered a 
good deal. I have been some unwell this week and find that from 
the past weeks excitement that I cannot take Qinine without its 
deranging my head so as to make unable to walk. It is a grand 
remedy for fall diseases & I regret very much not to be able to use it. 
It is very healthy so far, as far as I know not a sick one on the list 
here or at Belgrade. M^^ Griffisth has been sick with bilious fever at 
M'' Haughtons for the last 12 days. He has been very ill & the 
T/h/ompson remedies came near killing him. He has now employed 
Dr Lewis. Dr. }l[ardison].^ held up while M^^ C. was here & I 
understand promised a thorough reform, but that /day/ week M^ 
C. <le:D> left he got uncommonly drunk. 'Sic transit gloria mundi.' 

The Pettigrew Papers 241 

May God Almighty bless you my dear sons I the prayer of your 
[illegible] Father 

E Pettigrew 
[Addressed] M^ William S Pettigrew 
Chapel Hill 
N. Carolina 

^Dr. Hardy Hardison was a delegate from the Cool Spring district to the Whig 
convention held April 8, 1842, in Raleigh. Whig (Washington, N.C.), March 23, 
1842, April 13, 1842. Other delegates included William Shepard Pettigrew, 
Josiah Collins III, and Doctrine Davenport. 

Charles Lockhart Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew unc 

Chapel Hill Aug 30 [1834] 

Dear father 

I expect that you have received a letter from brother William 
before this. I arrived at Newburn without injury and what is very 
extraordinary I was not sick at all during my ride untill I arrived 
within about 6 miles of Newburn, it being night then, it could 
hardly have been expected that I should have escaped all the bad 
effects of riding at once. I remained in Newburn untill Wednesday 
when I took the stage for Raleigh and had as pleasant a ride there 
a<nd>s I had enjoyed before have to ride very little in the night; 
however there is one <subject> circumstance which I had almost 
forgotten to mention, that is after I had gone about 12 miles from 
Newburn the stage b/r/oke down, but that was /misfortune/ soon 
remedied by putting a rail under the injured side thus we proceeded 
to Raleigh nevertheless we proceeded without any father danger I 
arrived at C.H. the morning after the session had begun but 
brother William had preserved my room and by that means I was 
no <losser> looser. I had the draft cashed, you were so kind to give 
me, at the Newburn at V2 per ct making the amount I received about 
$848.25. Mr Bryan told me I could have it cashed there and was so 
kind as to go with me to the bank, I was ignorant that I should have 
to pay percentage <untl> untill the casher M^^ Guion^ <to> said he 
would negotiate it V2 per^t at that time having the draft in his hand. 
I wrote to Mr [George W.] Freeman soon after I arrived here, not 
having been able to see him in Raleigh, <I> according to your 
direction informing him that I had so much money at my 
command subject to his order, he /wrote me/ in about a week 
ordering the money to him by mail, and thus expressing himself in 
one part which I shall quote verbum ve/r/bo "In the name of the 
School committee I desire, through you, to tender our thankful 

242 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

acknowledgements to your father for his Kberahty, in thus antici- 
pating the several installments on his subscription — particularly 
at this time when the institution is so much in want of funds." I 
intend sending the money to him this evening by mail, and shall 
have a witness to see me put <it in the> the money in a letter <at 
the> in the presence of the post master the responsibility will then 
cease from my hands; he will send me a receipt on his recieving 
<my> the money. I would lengthen my letter but in consequence of 
business which I had necessarily to perform I shall have to 
conclude my letter. Brother William has been quite unwell with a 
cold, but owing to a very sudden change in the weather he has had 
some slight chills and fever I am in hopes with care and attention 
he will soon recover; I have been and am yet quite well, believe me 

affectionate son 
Charles L Pettigrew 
[Addressed] M^ E. Pettigrew 
Washington Co 

^ John W. Guion was cashier at the Bank of New Bern. Miller, "Recollections," 

William Biddle Shepard to Ehenezer Pettigrew a&h 

Alexandria D.C.— Augt 31st 1834 

My Dear Sir, 

Having concluded after what may well be called deliberation, 
that I had no great deal of time to spare if I ever intended to commit 
matrimony, I am about to venture upon that often tried experi- 
ment. — I am engaged to be married to a lady of this town Miss 
Charlotte Cazenove, the ceremony will take place about the middle 
of October next, and I should be much pleased if you could witness 
the ceremony. I am somewhat afraid you will not believe in the 
reality of the event unless you are an eye witness, in fact I am 
hardly myself convinced it is a fact. — I am well aware that there is 
little inducement in a simple ceremony of marriage to bring you 
from Carolina here, but if your business will admit of it, I should be 
much pleased to see you, and to introduce you to my intended. — 
The event will take place somewhere about the middle of October, 
the precise day is not yet definitely fixed. — 

Yours truly 
Wm. B. Shepard 

The Pettigrew Papers 243 

[Addressed] Ebenezer Pettigrew Esqr 
Cool Spring 
Washington County 
N. Carolina 

Ebenezer Pettigrew to Mary Williams Bryan a&h, bryan 

Lake Phelps Sep 25, 1834 

My dear Sister, 

I received your kind favour of the ll^h with great pleasure, I 
regret to learn of M^ Bryans indisposition, but from the tenor of 
your letter expect it was of short continuance. When ever the 
Quinine will put a stop to the fever, and restore obstructed 
perspiration, the cure is almost certain. It was with very great 
pleasure I learned of yours (I presume) and the health of your dear 
little family. My dear little Mary being so very thin, I hope is no 
evidence of bad health. I hope Heritage Blount & poor old M^s 
Furlow are before this recovered. I regret to see in the last paper the 
death of one of Judge Donalds [Donnell's]^ children. And it is with 
great sorrow I learn by your letter of the sickness of our dear 
relatives in Hillsboro; the mail previous I learned by letter from 
Charles Pettigrew that his brother William was sick & from his 
letter I apprehend bilious fever, which I consider a very dangerous 
disease in the up country. Poor sister Penelope I fear is not long for 
this world. This is an opinion I have had for some time. May God in 
his infinite mercy prepare her for that which he has made for the 
righteous in his kingdom. 

It was with great pleasure I received your opinion of my dear two 
sons. I scarcely ever look at them without thinking of their dear 
ever dear Mother. Though not like her, I view them as her 
representitives once as part of her, which gives to me such 
sensations as I am unable to describe. They are promising boys 
and I have great hope in them. Since they left, I have had a lonely 
time. My overseers, workmen, and a forigner, who though an 
examplary man, has no conversation either religious or worldly 
and is therefore as company a Blank & in the way so far as 
preventing me from going to Belgrade and staying as long as my 
business requires; to which place the greater part of my opperations 
are going on. People have acquired an opinion that I have a great 
deal of judgment in business, and also a great deal of money and 
everything else, and you wo/u/ld be astonished to learn how many 
applications I have for every thing I have got. Were I not to resist 
with firmness which I thank God belongs to me; I should have 
nothing in a year at my command. I have no perticular referance to 

244 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

any one person. The applications are far & near. But my dear 
Sister, I know who I am pledged to protect, and defend. I know that, 
that which my dear, dear, Nancy sacrificed so much for, it not 
mine, but to manage for her dear children. I know also that I am 
bound in duty to those dear children to hand down to them a 
character unsullied for virtue, honesty, truth & sobriety, and that I 
am bound not to bring a blush to their cheaks for any <o:D> leading 
vices; and by Gods help I will go on to the end of /my/ pilgrimage. 
As for cringing and bowing and accepting the fawning of every 
one who has become sensible of my wealth, I cannot, I will not. Not 
because I am offended with them. No I am not at war in my heart 
with any one, but I have a bad opinion of many and do not wish 
anything to do with them. If they are great I wish them to be so and 
I do not wish them to impart any of it to me; I get along very well 
without it. The time has gone by when these things could gratify 
me. My sun has set, and I am now traviling a lonely, dark, road 
under a firm hope of being again united in sweet converse to a dear 
ever dear wife when the night shall close and were it not the duty 
which I owe to my dear children & few friends, with composure 
would I close my eyes on this world forever; but I must fill my 
course, and rejoice to know that I can say with truth. My blessed 
Father, thy will & not mine be done. 

You some time back understood of the injury done to my leg, and 
that it was well, as I thought; but about a fortneight ago, I felt a 
sharp sting within & at the place where the injury was, which I 
took no immediate notice of but it continued to hurt for some days 
and when I looked at it, I observed the swelling on the shin, and I 
have assertaind that it is no more nor less than an Aneurism. It is 
necessary to keep my leg bandaged; and then it is troublesome & 
somewhat <troublesome> painfull. But for the soundness of my 
system I should apprehend great danger, and perhaps a spedey 
termination of life. It may /be/ necessary to have an opperation 
and perhaps an amputation before there is a cure, but time will tell 
more about it. My general health was never better, nor was I ever 
fater. The fall continues healthy, little or no sickness & what there 
is easily removed. Please to tell Lidia that her children are all well 
& that I wish she could see her children, & that I could see mine. I 
received a letter from W[illiam]. B[iddle]. S[hepard]. inviting me to 
his weding. I thanked him & declined, by saying I should be as 
much at a loss at a weding at Washington as /at/ Fidlers green. 
Frederick [Shepard] has at last been to see me, and stayed six days. 
He is F. B. Shepard yet, but he seemed to feel much more at the 
forlorn state of the place than he did when here the winter after 
these things began. Please to give my kind regards to M^ Bryan, 

The Pettigrew Papers 245 

and my love to the dear little children and believe me to be your 
affctionate Brother 

E Pettigrew 

Mrs M. Bryan 

[Addressed] M^s John H. Bryan 
N. Carolina 

^John R. Donnell (1791-1864), a lawyer in Craven County, served as a 
superior court judge from 1819 until 1836. Keith and others, Blount Papers, IV, 

Ehenezer Pettigrew to William Shepard Pettigrew UNC 

Lake Phelps Nov. 15, 1834 

My dear William 

I have received letters from you & also Charles, and two weeks 
ago answered partially them in a letter addressed to Charles. I was 
then very sick from a cold which I had taken, from which I have 
pretty well recovered except at intervals a bad cough. I regret the 
cough the more as I expect to leave on the 20th for the North. My leg 
is no better and I have no hope of its recovery without surgical aid, 
and what that aid will be is unknown to me. At this time I think my 
life in danger /from/ hemorage. My dear Sons, it is uncertain 
whether I shall ever return, and I am prepaired for the worst, but 
live under a firm hope in the Love of God and that his will is right 
My sons I feel very great interest in the turn you may take in the 
commencement of life. One will lead to honour, ease and comfort 
through life, while the other will lead to disgrace, misery and 
endless wo in this and the next world. My dear sons weigh well 
your first acts in life, and never forget that any improper or 
disgracfull act, will not only attach disgrace to you & your dear 
brothers & little sisters (who depend on you for their future 
advancement in life) but will disgrace your dear Mother and father 
in their graves. My dear Sons rather honour them while they are no 
longer on this earth to add to that of /which/ they had so great a 
share while here below. Remember this age in which you will live is 
an eventfull one and /an/ age of letters & improvement, and I 
beseech you my dear sons loose not that opportunity to make 
yourselves equal to your fellows. Remember my dear sons, the 
sacrifices which your dear ever dear Mother made for your 

246 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

advancement and what your father has made and is yet wilhng to 
make, and be not prodigal of the httle which <I> We have gathered 
for you, which with negHgen<t>ce & prodigahty will vanish 
before you think of it, leaving you in a merciless world without any 
thing. May God of his infinite mercy impress upon your hearts & 
minds a love of him, a duty to him which will lead to his blessing 
and your wellfare & happiness in this and the next world. My dear 
Sons do not forget in your prayers to your blessed father in heaven 
to petion for the safe recovery of your father on earth, and that he 
may be restored once more to the protection of his dear, dear, 
children. My sons, your father is not afraid to die and but for his 
dear children would he be <afraid> reluctant to die, but those dear 
little ones of your dear Mother he is willing to live for, his whole 
sould is devoted to their advancement and comfort, in this & the 
next world. 

I am afraid my dear William from some remarks of your 
Grandma [Shepard], that you are very tired of Chapel Hill. I know 
it is a tiresome place, and lonesome, but my son you go for a certain 
object, which object is of the first consequence, and without it you 
will alway feel the want in an emenent degree. Therefore I hope you 
will submit to all the privations of the situation and lay in a stock 
of information which will be your greatest comfort in life. Pray my 
son avoid reading novels, but spend your leasure hours in acquiring 
usefull knowledge. Though it may appear a long time to the end of 
your stay, it will be over. Recollect my sons, your father is hard at 
work for you and that his experience will do more than you can do 
yet. I have at last got all the lines around the Belgrade plantation 
pretty well established, and have raised about 250 barils corn 
there, the stable will be done next week. The [Dewing] house wants 
about a weeks work to finish it: it will then be painted. M^ 
Brickhouse will then proceed with the hands to geting timber to 
add 40 ft more to the barn, and when that is done there will be 
house room enough for 15 mules & 5 yoke oxen, 2500 <& 2500> 
barrils corn & 2500 bus. wheat. My crop at the Lake was a good one 
but there was not enough ground planted for much corn. I finised 
'gathering yesterday the crop is about 1 100 barrils. I have sown 100 
acres of wheat at the lake & about 44 at Belgrade, so you see my 
sons my income [must] be small for a year to come. I have got at the 
Lake [torn] broke for corn and shall begin to break at Belgrade 
Monday M^ Brickhouse & M^ Davinport get along very well, but M^ 
Hathaway is a poor creature, it is probable I shall not employ him 
next year. M'' B. & Davenport send their compliments to you. You 
see my dear sons by my latter information that I am in the full tide 
of successfull experement, go on & do likewise, and let me intreat 
you, to let Brotherly Love prevail a two fold cord is not easily 
broken. Love one another my dear children. Go on and be what 

The Pettigrew Papers 247 

your father has not had it in his power to be. Farewell, alway 
Farewell my dear son & may God Almighty bless you is the prayer 
of your affect. Father 

E Pettigrew 

N.B. My dear Charles I will write you shortly after my arrival in 
New York. Farewell 

[Addressed] M^ William S. Pettigrew 
Chapel Hill 
North Carolina 

Ehenezer Pettigrew to Mary Williams Bryan UNC 

New York Dec 8, 1834 

My dear Sister, 

It seems as though I would inundate your home with letters, but 
this is one of business as well as Friendship. Shortly after my 
arrival I understood this was the time to purchase match horses, 
and determined to buy for myself a pair, and knowing that you had 
but one, and him (though a good stage horse), no one ought to try to 
get a fellow to, I determined to try and get a pair of good family 
ones for you. I accordingly attended the auction with my friend D^ 
Vanderburgh where there was to be sold such a pair & bought 
them. After keeping them two days I found them [the veryest] 
cheats & returned them. In the mean time I bought for myself a 
good pair at private sale. My mind still intent upon a pair for you, I 
bought another, of what the Doctor who drove /them/ says an 
excellent pair of family horses who travil alike as much as any pair 
he ever drove. I went to the Norfolk Packet and ordered four stalls 
and they were to go on board the next day. In five hours after I had 
bought & paid for the two match, one of mine was taken sick & was 
expected to die all night, the next day a doubtfull case totally unfit 
to be shipped, but your pair was shipped & they will I fear be made 
sailors of today. My sick horse is today out of danger, & they will go 
in the next packet, five days from the first. I should have left 
tomorrow morning but I wish the horses gone first, /that/ I may 
me/e/t them at Norfolk to make arraingments to get them on. You 
will say that I have been a good /deal/ pl/a/gued, and so I have 
but It has not produced a ruffle in my countenace, this is but 
moonshine and must [hapin] in passing through life. Even my leg 
is but a trifle although it has become by two much walking very 
sensitive & sometimes painfull, so much so that on Saturday 
having spent the evening at M^ Kents, which is the upper part of 
the City I could not have walked to the City Hotel a distance of two 

248 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

miles in two hours if atall & for the first time I acknoledged my 
dependance on an omnibus. I am however geting along very 
chearily taking my Christmas, a little before the usual time I have 
more acquantance, more social intercourse, [torn] have it in my 
power to have, in this City, than in all the towns in my native state. 
Here I stand amongst my acquaintance as a clever, worthy man, 
my company seems to be acceptable, & I am asked to call in 
without reserve, which I do, but O! Horrable I leave without reserve 
on Saterday next for N. Carolina, and to be as sullen as a [Possum]. 
I am thankfull for this little spell of recreation, and am willing to go 
and serve my dear, dear Children & friends, without whome I am 
nothing. Afer Christmas I discharge one of overseers to take his 
place which I hope will be an evidence that N. York has not run me 
carazy. I know what I am, and never can forget while there is a 
pulsation /in my heart,/ in any place no matter how entertaining 
my dear ever dear Nancy; I thank my Blessed God, every day for 
that angellic gift, that dear woman, and that he has impressed on 
my heart a knowledge of his goodness & mercy to me a poor wicked 

My dear Sister, I have used up all my money in this place. Will 
you ask M^^ Bryan if it is perfectly convenient for him to have paid 
to Charles & William for them both two hundred & fifty dollars but 
if it is not perfectly convenient he will write me upon the receit of 
this, to Cool Spring P.O. I think I can sell <his the> Clay, to the 
Stage contracter, but, in the mean time he may try what he can get 
& inform me I will send the horses as before agreed on to 
Washington. Please to give my Affectionate regard to [torn] 
Mother & tell her that in the purchase of the [four] horses I had an 
eye to her visit in the spring and that I can never forget that she 
gave birth to her who was dearer to me than all the world beside. 
Please give my Love to my dear children & all my dear friends of 
the family & believe me 

your affectionate Brother 
E Pettigrew 

Mrs J. H. Bryan 

N.B. Excuse this hurried letter. I had been up to see my sick horse & 
have had no more time before the mail came for this day. 

N.B. I go with Mr [S. M.] Chester to night to the Opera for the first 
time I saw to day the Chinese Cady[?] a stupid thing. 

[Addressed] Mrs John H. Bryan 
N. Carolina 


The Pettigrew Papers 249 

Samuel Latham^ to Ebenezer Pettigrew a&h 

Washington Tuesday 16^ Dec^ 1834 

Dear Sir, 

You will probably receive at the same time with this, a letter from 
the committee of five appointed by the District Convention to 
inform you of your nomination by said convention & soliciting 
your compliance and an answer.^ 

The undersigned a member of the committee & the only member 
having any acquaintance with yourself takes the liberty of making 
a suggestion to you concerning your answer. The opposition in the 
District tho unanamous in a general abhorrence of the acts and 
pretensions of the Administration generally, yet differ upon many 
minor subjects of policy & constitutional law. You will therefore 
perceive (& this is the suggestion deemed important) that a 
prudent reply on your part will avoid as much as possible any topic 
which may disturbe the unanimity now prevailing among our 
friends, indeed will avoid any unnecessary committal of any sort. 
The topics deemed most dangerous are Internal Improvements & 
the Bank. 

I hope Sir you will excuse the liberty I have taken I am actuated 
by the deep interest I feel in the approaching Election. I have 
always supported D"^ [Thomas //.] Hall but cannot do so longer he 
adheres too closely to the slaveish doctrines of the administration. 
In conclusion Sir let me hope you will not decline but rather that 
you will unite with us in redeeming from disgrace the District in 
which we live. I pledge myself (as far as my feeble aid will go to 
Elect you) that no exertion on my part shall be wanting to 
accomplish that object. 

Your friend 
Saml Latham 

[Addressed] y[y Eben^ Pettigrew Esqr 
Lake Phelps 

Via Colspring Post Office 
Washington County 

^Samuel Latham married Mary Ann Trotter, daughter of Thomas Trotter, at 
the home of the latter on December 13, 1821. Parish Register of Christ Church, 
New Bern, Marriages, 128. 

^News of the Whig campaign for Congress may be found in extant issues of 
the Whig, pubUshed by H. D. Machen in Washington, North Carohna. A 
headhne in the issue for August 1, 1835, reads "Old Rip Wide Awake." For 
additional information on the Whig party in North Carolina see Arthur 
Charles Cole, The Whig Party in the South (Washington: American Historical 
Association, 1913), 80-81, hereinafter cited as Cole, Whig Party in the South. 

250 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

See also William S. Hoffman, ''John Branch and the Origins of the Whig Party 
in North Carolina," North Carolina Historical Review, XXXV (July, 1958), 
299-309, and Max R. Williams, "The Foundations of the Whig Party in North 
Carolina: A Synthesis and a Modest Proposal," North Carolina Historical 
Review, XLVII (April, 1970), 1 15-129. Cole names George E. Badger, William A. 
Graham, Willie P. Mangum, Thomas L. Clingman, Edward Stanly, and 
Kenneth Rayner as leaders. 

Joseph Ramsey and Samuel Hardison^ 

to Ehenezer Pettigrew a&h 

[December 23, 1834] 

At a Meeting of the Citizens of Plymouth and its vicinity at the 
Court House on the 23^^ inst, <called> for the purpose of nominating 
a suitable person to represent this District in the next Congress — 
Samuel Hardison Esq was called to the Chair & Joseph Ramsey 
was appointed Secretary — 

On Motion made & seconded, the following committee was 
chosen to draw up resolutions (viz) Joseph C Norcom,^ John B 
Beasley & John D. Bennett and the said committee having 
reported the following resolutions they were unanimously adopted 

1st Resolved — That we concur with the convention which 
assembled at Washington on the 15^ inst in the nomination of 
Ebenezer Pettigrew Esq as a suitable person to represent the 3^ 
Congressional District in the next Congress — 

2d That knowing M^^* Pettigrew to be a man of talents & 
unimpeachable character & believing him to be of firm & approved 
political principles & a man in whom we can confide, we do the 
more cheerfully enter into the above resolution 

3° Resolved that George Nichols, John B. Beasley, John D. 
Bennett, J. C Norcom & Benj Maitland be appointed a Committee 
to wait on M'^ Pettigrew and request his acceptance of the 
nomination of said Convention, and in the event of his declining 
the nomination, that they have authority to confer with Commit- 
tees or delegates from the other Counties comprising the said 
District to fix on some other proper person in his stead 

On Motion made & seconded — Resolved that the proceedings of 
this meeting be published in the Washington Whig, and that a 
Copy be sent to Richard Bonner,^ President of the Convention — 

(signed) Joseph Ramsey Secretary 
(signed) Saml Hardison Chairman 

Decem 23^ 1834— 

The Pettigrew Papers 251 

^Samuel Hardison was a member of the House of Commons from Washington 
County in the 1832 and 1833 sessions of the General Assembly. Cheney, North 
Carolina Government, 299, 301. No information about Joseph Ramsey other 
than that in this letter has been located. 

^Joseph C. Norcom was a delegate from Washington County to the 
Constitutional Convention of 1835 and served in the House of Commons from 
the same county in the General Assembly of 1842. Cheney, North Carolina 
Government, 312, 818. 

^Richard H. Bonner served in the House of Commons from Beaufort County 
in the 1831 and 1832 state legislatures and was a member of the Constitutional 
Convention of 1835 from the same county. Cheney, North Carolina Govern- 
ment, 296, 298, 817. 

Ebenezer Pettigrew to William Shepard Pettigrew UNC 

Lake Phelps Jan 23, 1835 

My dear Sons, 

I wrote to you a few days before I left for Newbern to visit your 
dear little sisters & brother. I had a very cold & disagreeable ride 
there and it was excessivly cold while there. I found your sister 
Mary & Johnston better but they are both very thin & look badly. 
Poor little Mary has scurf I fear a tetter worm in her head & has to 
have her hair taken off & wear /a/ greasy cap. 

You have I found receivd the $250 which I requested M^^ Bryan to 
send you, I have since requested him to send you 100$ more which 
will make out the 350 which I understood from you was necessary. I 
hope & believe you will be prudent & carefull with it, for money is 
geting at a low eb having so many calls & perticularly at Belgrade, 
as all my work & expenditures are there now, when at home. 

I have at last consented to become a Candidate for Congress. 
Nothing of my life has plagued me so much to decide, for generally 
& some of the most important affairs of my life have been decided 
in five minutes / — but this has taken five weeks./ 1 am aware of the 
trouble & turmoil, but it was not for me to resist the call of so 
numerous a body. I would advise you to be very circumspect in all 
your remarks, for every word will be caught. Nothing I desire so 
much as quiet, secluded life, but this next six months will be the 
very opposit. My business is in a very snug way & I suppose with 
Mr Davinports attention can get along. There has been the deepest 
snow here that /has/ fallen for fifty years; at any rate deeper than 
I have ever seen. There are various opinions at to depth from 14 to 
18 inch, eight is the deepest I ever measured. 

Charles I observe in your two last letters a remark which seems 
to convey an idea that you & William did not live in the same room. 
I hope for the character of the thing you have not divided & taken 

252 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

seperate rooms, also the cost, for you two can sit by one fire as well 
as two & also sleep in one bed, and if you have taken seperate 
establishments it is a sign you have two much money, and that 
your tempers are not what they aught to be for Christians, but I 
will make this remark, you had better seperate than quarril, but if 
you had the right spirit you would not disagree. I wish to know in 
the next after this. What I said in my last to you Charles was all in 
joke about geting married, I hope your good sense will teach you 
not to think of a family untill you are not only settled but will 
settled in life. Do not make to much calculations from me for it is 
probable I shall spend the best part of my estate in raising my 
children & in my own indulgences. My sons I had expected an 
account of your expences for the last half year according to your 

My son William I had been looking for a letter untill I fear you 
have forgotten the old man. You aught not to forget him at any rate 
while he is thinking so much about you, I hope you have not 
forgotten him so soon; I should have expected a letter would have 
been quite entertaining after your return from visiting Raleigh 
particularly during the session of the Legislature. I should liked to 
have heard how you went through your examination & how you 
get along in general, for I know not when I /did/ get a letter from 
you. We are geting along chearily at Belgrade. All the lumber is got 
and in the yard for the addition to the machine pens or Barn and 
Mr Brickhouse has begun to frame. M^* Davenport has inclosed all 
the deaded woods with fence; he has since plouging all the ground 
for the next corn field cut down 45 acres of new ground & rooted 
half of it for ploughing, so you see there is no idleness in my 
establishment. M^* Collins spent the night with me two nights ago, 
and several times remarked how fortunate my two sons were in 
having a father in the full vigor of life at the time when they were 
about to take the stage. My dear Sons if you are fortunate in such a 
Father let me beseech, let me pray, to my sons to let their Father be 
/equelly/ fortunate in such sons. Rem/em/ber my sons that a two 
fold cord is not easily broken, and always bear in mind all [my] 
hopes in this world is <my> in my dear children and if they [bring] 
my gray hairs with sorrow to the grave I have lived in vain. My 
health is as good as it ever was but my leg is not well nor I suppose 
ever will be, but I am able to get along without much pain, but I fear 
I never shall be able to walk as I have done. I think your Uncle 
Bryan & aunt Mary are beginning to feel considerable anxiety to 
know what to do with all their sons; your aunt remarked to me you 
have no difficulty to know what to do or provide for your sons, her 
remark led me to think she had unequivocally changed her mind as 
respects farming. Ah! my sons I had to work up a steep hill against 
the current, but all now give up that I was right, and because I have 

The Pettigrew Papers 253 

forced them into the beUef from my success, which seems to be 
more generally known than I had any idea of. My dear Sons go on 
and do likewise & believe in your fathers opinions as well as in his 
Love & affection to his children 

E Pettigrew 
[Addressed] M^ William S. Pettigrew 
Chapel Hill 
N. Carolina 

Ehenezer Pettigrew to James Cathcart Johnston UNC 

Lake Phelps Ap. 5, 1835 

My dear friend, 

From time to time have I determined to answer your very 
flattering favour of last fall, but have as often been prevented by 
various causes. It is not a call to Congress or the marked attentions 
of my friends in visiting the district canvassing for that place, that 
can make me forget the expretions in that letter. No my friend, they 
know nothing of me but common report, and I view their good 
opinions of me as but a bubble compaired to your expretions, and it 
was more than gratifying to read them from the pen of one whose 
good opinion I value above all others of my acquaintance. I am a 
poor miserable creature, & have & am now suffering all the 
anguish of heart which the human system is able to bear, but I 
have alway had a duty to perform in this life, and when ever my 
afflictions would give me life to perform them I have done so, 
regardless of all things that might haras or embarras me. Nothing 
is more desirable to me than seclusion & retirement from the world, 
but from a sense of duty & nothing else, I have now entered into the 
greatest turmoil that it appears any man can get, and what is more 
awful than all & every other part, the drinking, which seems as 
necessary to success as to be a citizen of the state. I have been two 
months on the business & have four more when I hope to be done 
forever. I have laid my hand to the plough & nothing shall be 
wanting on my part. My motto is Stimulate, Fulminate, depricate, 
& go on at any rate. I stop at nothing. Wine, Brandy whisky & if 
necessary Yankey Rum sweetened with molasses & stired with my 
finger. My health was never better & though I was in different 
parts of the district in all the bad weather since Christmas I was 
not made sick. It seems I cannot die, unless /by/ my own wicked 
hand & I hope my God in his goodness will give me grace that such 
an idea may never enter my immagination. You will ask why did I 
get into such a difficulty. My answer, I knew not how to refuse so 

254 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

great & respectable a call, espetially when I had no doubt of 
success. My prospect is as good as it ever was, & I have made 
friends wherever I have gone, for I not only know how to take a 
drink, but I know how to shake hands with & talk to all sorts of 
men. I have from my place of residence been assotiated with them 
& have no difficulty in ingratiating myself. I have no doubt of 
geting a majority in five out of the six counties, & shall not lose 
more than five votes in Tyrrell & twenty in Washington, & unless 
something turns up that cannot be forseen the Doctor [Thomas H. 
Hall] must stay at home. It is not yet declared that he is a 
candidate. I leave this day week for an eight weeks cruise through 
the district. Being a man of business you will say, what becomes of 
your farms in all this time. It is in perfect order on the Lake as well 
as that in Scuppernong, and managed by the overseer which I 
have had for four years, and one of the smartest & most deserving 
men in his station in the Union. 

My wheat is much injured by the frost & cannot produce more 
than two thirds of a crop. I am under good way in corn planting, & 
nothing to do but plant. I am going for a pretty large crop this year. 

I wrote to Dr Vanderburgh soon after my return when I saw you 
respecting your threshing machine & received an answer the other 
day, that it was done, but that he had mislaid my letter & could not 
tell where to send it. I have written him twice since & in bothe times 
directed him so that I think there can be no doubt of your geting it 
in time. 

To satisfy you that my present electioneering engagements have 
not paralised my opperations at home, I will give you an account of 
my opperations at my place in Scupperno/n/g which is called 
Belgrade. I finished since Christmas a stable two stories 34. by 60 
ft. I built a barn last year 40 by 40 ft two stories I am now adding to 
it 40 ft more in length, which will be compleat by harvest. The 
dwelling of my father is moved to were my buildings are now, & 
well fited up & I have all the necessary out houses on the place. Just 
as I finished (place) our old preacher came in & I was obliged to go 
with him to M^^ Collins, & hear him talk weltch to the negroes O 
what [torn] boar. This morning business has driven all my ideas 
from my head, and I must conclude by sending my kind regards to 
your sisters & beging you to assure your self of the sincere Esteem 
& Regard of your friend 

E Pettigrew 

James C. Johnston esqr. 

N.B. Please to write to me soon, & will you oblige me so far as to 
visit me as soon after the Congretional canvass is over as you can. 
I shall /not/ leave home <after> this fall but to carry my younger 

The Pettigrew Papers 255 

son to Hillboro & see my two sons at Chapel Hill Charles will 
graduate in June year but I think of taking him home at Christmas. 
What is a graduation at Chapel Hill worth? An ounce of 

Ever yours 
[Addressed] James C Johnston Esqr 
Edenton Post office 

Charles Petigru to John Gough 

and Jane Gihert Petigru North unc 

Appalachicola Arsenal 
Chattahoochie— Fla: April 29th, 1835 

Dear North and Dear Sister — 

— for I am going to write to you both <got> together — I am here 
enjoying the luxuries of command — My word there is none to 
gainsay — I am almost as absolute as Robinson Crusoe — but I am 
not like <Robert> /Robinson/ on a desert Island — but in the heart 
of a town — an incorporated town of which <in a certain> /indeed/ 
I am myself the heart — and Uncle Sam's cash, expended /thro' 
me/ in erecting the arsenal here, the blood — I am the head too — for 
I govern and direct the arsenal and the operations of the arsenal 
contro/u/1 in a mighty degree the destinie of the town — I am the 
foot too <I am the foot> for the town cannot get along without 
me — are you not surprised to hear of my being so great a man! — 
Indeed I shall very soon, in good earnest, "creep into a good 
opinion of myself — I have been here a fortnight — have been all 
the time very busy except about 3 days that I was at Tallahassee on 
business and took occasion to go & see my friends the Writ 
family — who reside now some 26 miles therefrom — Those three 
days were with some exceptions, very pleasant days — the other 
two weeks have been much of business — I am coming to be very 
much of a business man — This is almost as wonderful a <change> 
/transformation/ <and> as my metamorphis into a great man — I 
have not yet been able quite to see daylight thro' all my predecessors 
accounts — but begin to see the state of things, &c. around me clear 
& distinct enough — 

The Appalachicola is a mile off — It is a beautiful river — The 
arsenal is on the top of monstrous hill — where it has no business — 
The Chattahoochie & Flint Rivers unite to form the Appalachicola 
two miles above or thereabouts — So you may just stick a pin into 

256 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

my locality — on the east side of the Appalachicola— a mile from 
it — two miles from the river Chattahoochie /near Musquito 
Creek,/ — & in and making a large portion of the town of 
Chattahoochie — which is a town not half so big as its name is long. 
In directing your letters leave out the name of the asenal altogether — 
Direct to Chattahoochie Florida — That will be a direction long 
enough — and there will be danger, if you write Appalachicola, of 
<its> /the letter's/ going down to the Bay & town — 150 miles 
off — To Tallahassee is 50 miles — There is said to be a fine society 
there — there ought to be for the town is not much for looks or size or 
business — 

The country is much of it poor, & <more> /more/ of it rich than 
is generally Known [7] think — It is now filling up & incr[ea]sing in 
wealth — The <Forbes> decission [torn] the Forbes' claim will do 
the territory much good and will be the making of many lawyers — 
For there is litigation <enough> concerned in that matter to the 
amount 2 million of Dollars — I am writing with a head aching — 
partly from a bad cold — the worst I ever had — & partly from 
having been so long over my table — 

Write to me and believe me 
Your affectionate Brother 
Charles Petigru 
[Addressed] John G. North Esqr. 
So: Carolina 

[Charles Lockhart Pettigrew to Ehenezer Pettigrew] unc 

University May 26th i83[5] 

Dear Father 

Very probably my letter will not find you at home, as you, I 
suppose, have not yet completed your electioneering campaign. I 
am much gratified to learn that your success is apparent, and your 
prospects so very fair: Mr A Henderson, who came from Edenton 
but a few days since, says that the general expectation is no other 
than that you will beat Mr Hall at least 500 votes; such large 
success is more than I could in my fondest expectations have 
looked for, and the more especially, as Mr Hall has been going to 
congress for many years, will the honor of /being/ so far superior 
be considered uncommon. I was informed by a gentleman im- 
mediately from Halifax Co. that the last heard of /you/ was that 
you were in Washington and that succeed, very well in electioneer- 
ing: the same gentleman informed me that you were nominated for 
the state-convention <and> but said, he had not heard whether 

The Pettigrew Papers 257 

you had excepted the nomination and consented become a candi- 
date for that high place of honor. While speaking of the convention 
you may willing to hear who are from this county; the 2 persons 
elected are Drs Smith ^ and Montgmery.^ Judge Ruffin^ who was a 
candidate was the 5^^ man on the list. Thus we see that those who 
are the most worthy are the most neglected by the people. I fear 
much that this body when assembled will not be much superior if 
at all to the state legislature. I have not received a letter from you in 
some time I hope you will write me one soon and tell me what you 
wish me to do. I suppose as you will be very busy it will be better for 
us not to go down although it would afford me great pleasure to see 
you, and also the <offered> sum of money to go down and come up 
will be considerable for us both therefore it will be best for us to 
stay. Some money will be necessary for us at commencement and 
also during the vacation, some is generally necessary at commence- 
ment, and as I am one of the speakers and and of course be more 
prominent, I shall however be economical I suppose $75 will be 
sufficient for us untill next session. To show you the character we 
sustain for being punctial in money matters, this very morning I 
was with gentleman in the village with other students, this 
gentleman was post-master and tavern-keeper he told them he 
hoped they would [get] a letter with money, but at the same time 
remarking that "M^^ Pettigrew never wants money his father sends 
to him by hundreds" thus you see how we are regarded and how 
thankful ought we to be to you who enables us to sustain so fair a 
reputation. I will soon have time to give you a more particular 
account. The Commencement will be on the 25 of June I must ask 
you to excuse the latter part of this letter as I am afraid the mail 
will be too quick for m[torn] his love to yo[u] [torn] 


^James Strudwick Smith (1790-1859), a physician in Orange County, had 
served in Congress as a Democrat, 1817-1821. He represented Hillsborough in 
the state House of Commons in the 1821 session and was a delegate to the 
constitutional convention held in 1835. Biographical Directory of Congress, 

^William Montgomery (1789-1844), also an Orange County physician, was a 
state senator, 1824-1828 and 1829-1835. He satin the Constitutional Convention 
of 1835 and as a Democrat in the United States House of Representatives, 
1835-1841. Biographical Directory of Congress, 1347; Cheney, North Carolina 
Government, 288-289, 301-302, 817. 

■^Thomas Ruffin (1787-1870) graduated from Princeton in 1805 and established 
a law practice in Hillsborough in 1809. He served in the state House of 
Commons and as a superior court judge before becoming a justice on the North 
Carolina Supreme Court. He served from 1829 to 1852; he was chief justice from 
1833. Ruffin achieved a wide reputation as a constitutional lawyer and a judge. 
Ashe, Biographical History, V, 350-359. 

258 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

Ehenezer Pettigrew to William Shepard Pettigrew UNC 

Belgrade June 23, 1835 

My dear Sons 

I addressed a letter to you about a fortnight ago in which I sent 
you a draft for $100 on M^ Hicks New York & which I hope you have 
received before this. In that letter I advised you not to come down 
the country for reasons then given, but one stronger than all in this 
part is the measels which has been very fatal & William you have 
not had it. I hope my sons you will spend your vacation profitably, 
& prudently. 

I am now harvesting at this place & expect this day to go to the 
Lake to commence. It is quite late this year & not good, but I hope to 
get a half a crop. The corn is very likely. 

M^ Da vinport was married on the 1 1 , & his wife is [illegible] here, 
she seems to be a modest well disposed woman & I hope they will do 
well. If you Judge Norwood's family & M^ Bingham in the course of 
the vacation give my kind regards to them. My dear sons God 
Almighty bless you 

E Pettigrew 
[Addressed] Mr William S Pettigrew 
Chapel Hill 
N. Carolina 

Charles Lockhart Pettigrew to Ehenezer Pettigrew UNC 

University Aug 1st 1835 

Dear Father 

Your letter from Plymouth was duly received a few days since. 
You stated that you had then commenced the last tour you would 
make before the termination of the contest; I hope you /will/ come 
off ultimately victorious and your efforts will be crowned with the 
greatest success you could have wished. I have frequent op- 
portunities from persons passing and those who have connexions 
/in the low country/ of hearing from you and of the prospect of 
your election, the opinion that I have always expressed is that you 
will beat M^ Hall 500 votes. 

I have frequently seen communications in the "Tarboro Press" 
against you, and in one which I saw the other day it was stated that 
you had said you knew nothing about the land question: this 
assertion is I suppose false. In this part of the country there seems 
to be no one opposed to it even the warmest supporters of General 
Jackson do no dare to defend his conduct in vetoing that bill All the 
candidates to a man condemn his conduct. I was very glad to learn 

The Pettigrew Papers 259 

that your corn -crop was so fine and exhibited the appearance of a 
plentiful harvest. You have had no opportunity of leaning that I 
had to deliver an oration on the 4th of July at Chapel-Hill by choice 
to the meeting that appointed me: the performance of which duty I 
accepted and discharged <to> Although I had but a short time to 
prepare in. I composed my speech in one day. I held a high 
standing in my class in the last report the were only 3 placed before 
me. I am now a member of the senior or highest class in college, and 
will stand higher of course as the seniors are the oldest, the most 
advanced, and the most respected. You informed me in your letter 
of M^* Beasley's intention to send his son Joe to college he has since 
arrived and appears to be a boy of good intelect and great 
application to business, I have procured a room for him and will 
pay particular attention to him.^ I will also tell you the amount of 
money for the next session about $375 /<for Brother>/ will 
se/r/ve us untill the end of next session $200 for myself and $175 
/for Brother/ as he has to get no books but can use the books I had, 
and I have to get the books for the senior year. I have no doubt but 
you will be astonished at my sending for so large a sum but I can 
assure that I have been and will be economical <an> as an instace 
of this I have not had a breast-pin since I have been a member of 
college when others have one and two and some half a dozen my 
only reason for not buying one <was not> is not <is> to spend 
money: at commencement I was one of the speakers and as all the 
others had them I borowed and it was the same case <frequently> 
last year. I have never bought a glass of wine since I have been a 
member of the institution which has now been three years. You are 
thought to be rich here for one member of <o:D> college told me that 
he heard that you could make an income of $25,000 a year if you 
would exert yourself much. Be assured that I will as I can without 
incuring the character of being stingy my dear Father I have 
always been sensible that you will supply your children with the 
necessary funds for their education and it will always be a source 
gratitude to me that I have such a father. I hope in less than a year 
to graduate and come home and try how hard it is to make a living: 
I will then have a good education and it will devolve on me to make 
something or nothing of myself. I feel confident of your election 
and hope to see it officially announced in a few days. 

Believe me dear Father 

ever affectionate 

Charles L Pettigrew 

Brother sends his love to you 

The session will on 6th of August again commence 

260 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

[Addressed] M^ E. Pettigrew Esq 
Cool Spring 
Washington Co 


^Battle, History of the University, does not list a Joseph Beasley as having 
attended the university. 

Ehenezer Pettigrew to William Shepard Pettigrew unc 

Plymouth Aug 3, 1835 

My dear Sons 

I am just returning from the elections whic <is> are all over 
except Tyrrel. All the banks not heard from and I am now ahead a 
few votes, and Tyrrel will give almost if not quite a unanimous vote 
so that my majority will be between 5 & 600 votes. My sons this is 
an exceeding honour and let it be a lesson for you. Nothing could 
have given me success but my character which I had been making 
for thirty years, & which my dear sons stands against the world. 
But my dear boys dont pride yourself altogether on the character of 
your father, you have one also to make & do not forget that by your 
conduct you can loose the one your father may give you in a very 
short time. Pray do not forget that you must make your own 
character by puting the finishing hand to it. The last three weeks 
has [blotted] the most awfull tryal & the hardest work I ever did. 
but it is over & my labours have been crowned with sucess. Do not 
boast of it; it is enough that I have succeeded. 

You will receive a [torn] on the other page for $250.^ (Economy 
my sons) I w[ill enjdeavour to see some time in this fall. I [torn] the 
latter part of the campaign astonishing [^or^ijalth was even better 
I hope you are [torn] [G]od almighty bless y[ou] [torn] [pra]yer of 
your [torn] father 

E Pettigrew 
[Addressed] William S. Pettigrew 
Chapel Hill 
North Carolina 

1 A draft was often written, in a form similar to that of a modern check, on the 
top or bottom half of a letter. The recipient then cut it off like a coupon and 
negotiated it. Several letters in the Pettigrew Family Papers at the Southern 
Historical Collection have clipped pages for this reason. 

The Pettigrew Papers 261 

Moses E. Cator to Ebenezer Pettigrew a&h 

Williamson County 14 Aug 1835 

My Dear Friend 

You will be informed by this that I am Still in the land amongst 
the living you have No doubt previous to this Seen by the papers 
the Dreadful effect of the Cholera in this Section of Country it has 
Truly been awful and alarming Maney of our Valuable Citizens 
have fallen Victims to it and have gone to Eternity. I had a Verrey 
Severe attackt with it about the first of July the Docktor who 
attended me as well as all of my friends who Saw me Despaired of 
my Recovery and indeed I had But little hope of it my Self But 
Contrarey to all of our expectation Devine Providence has again 
Raised me up and in a great Measure Restored me to Helth I am as 
yet Verrey weak and feable But think I am a gaining as fast as 
Could be expected being of an advanced age after being Redused 
So Verrey low. I Sincerely hope these limes may find you and your 
family in perfect Helth. it has been So long Since I wrote to you or 
Received a letter from you that I have almost forgotten who wrote 
last But Rather think it was your Self in which you Stated that 
your Self or one of your Sons would Visit this part of the Country at 
a time Spesifyed in Said letter in Consequence of which I have 
looked in Vain for a long time past The Tax on your land in D wyer 
County have Been Regularly paid. I Sent Two Dollars last year to 
Mr Davis and never heard from him untill a fiew days past when I 
Received a letter from him with the Sheriffs Receipt inclosed for 
$2.88 which Ballance I Shall immediately Send to him and also the 
Money for this years Tax presuming it will be the Same for this 
year as it was last. I immajine you have heard of the Constitution 
of our State Being amended in Consequence of which after this 
year we Shall have to pay Taxes agreeable to Valuation Sjo that if 
your lands out hear are of But litle Value in Course your Tax will be 
light . . . under our old Constitution the most inferior land in the 
State was Taxed as high as the most Valuable which I have always 
thought unjust as there is Such a great Contrast in the Valuation 
of land in this State 

If my Helth will admit this faul I intend going to the District and 
if I Cannot Sell your land in Dwyer to employ Some person whom I 
think may be depended upon to attend to your land for you. I Know 
this will be a Considerable undertaking for me. But I Shall take my 
time for it perhaps not Travel more than 25 Miles a day. when we 
devided Said land the Compass we had was not to be depended 
upon. Mr John Miller who was present at the time who also is a 
worthy Respectable Man promised us that he would git a good 
Compass and Run the devideing lines Between you and Davis and 

262 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

Johnston this Buiseness I also wish to See too I am well asured in 
my mind if Said land Could be Sold even on a long Credit So that 
the money Could be Sure it would be much more to your interest 
than to let it Remain as it is espesially as you live at so great a 
distance from it if I Should go down this faul I will do the Best in 
my power for your Interst and write you immediately on my Return 
Home, we have had a Remarkably wet Summer our Corn and 
wheat Crops are Verry good — I am doubtful our Cotton Crops will 
not be Verry good oweing to So much wet weather 

I have a Reputed daughter who lives on Second Creek^ who I 
understand is Maried to a man by the name of Levin Davis. I wish 
them poor Creatures to Come out to this Country. I have lately 
purchased 450 acrees of land in this County which I intend for 
them people if they will Move to it and if they Could Come out it 
would be in my power to asist them Verry much Such as firnishing 
of them with provision Stock to begin with &c that is if they Should 
Come while I am liveing the land Lays on lick Creek about 10 Miles 
from franklin and near the Barrons altho this land is well 
Timbered on the 50 acres Tract there is a Considerable Clearin a 
Comfortable Cabin &c &c a familey are now liveing on Said place 
it is true the greater part of Said land are thin But I think it far 
Superior to the Second Creek land, will you be So Kind Some time 
hence as to Ride over and See what prospect there is for their git out 
hear I Realey fear the prospect is Verrey gloomey for I expect they 
are Quite Illiterate and ignorant in so much that I fear they would 
never find the way out hear unless they had Some person to pilot 
them, please to try to find out their true Situation and inform me in 
your next my Reason for explaining the above to you is that you 
may tell them the whole Circumstance of the Buiseness and of my 

To Conclude my long Epistle I am as ever your Readey friend 
and well wisher untill Death 

Moses E. Cator 

P S please to present my love to all inquiring friends and accept the 
Same your Self 

[Addressed] E. Pettigrew Esquire 
Cool Spring P office 
N. Carolina 

^Second Creek is located in Tyrrell County. Powell, North Carolina Gazetteer, 

The Pettigrew Papers 263 

William Biddle Shepard to Ehenezer Pettigrew a&h 

Alexandria Sept 20th i835 

My Dear Sir 

I have intended for some time past to write to you, but I have 
hitheto been prevented by the sickness of Mrs Shepard who has 
been confined to her bed for two months past. — Her indisposition 
has settled down into chills and fevers which adhered to her so 
pertinaceously that I almost despair of her getting rid of them 
during the winter. 

I suppose you are quite recovered from the fatigues of your 
campaign, I was myself in the commencement of my career 
generally, all the fall and winter recruiting from the love frolics, I 
was obliged to take among the people. I presume you were not 
aware of the great labour necessary to convince the sovereign 
people of a very few and very plain matters, which it is indispens- 
able they should know. — 

I would like very much to mess with you next winter and if you 
have no objection I will engage a room for you at the same house 
where I lodge — There is always some difficulty at the commence- 
ment of a Congress to secure good quarters. I being on the Spot 
earlier than you may like to leave home, will if you say so, look out 
for lodgings for both of us. It is my intention if Mrs Shepard's 
health improves sufficiently to carry her to Newbern this fall; 
should her health not permit her to travel I shall go alone I hope I 
may see you on my route. — 

Yours sincerely 
Wm B. Shepard 
{Addressed] Ebenezer Pettigrew Esqr 

Cool Spring 

Washington County 

No Carolina 

Bryan and Maitland to Ehenezer Pettigrew^ UNC 

New York, October 1st 1835. 
E. Pettigrew Esqr 

Dear Sir 

We beg leave to inform you that we have established a House in 
this City for the transaction of commission business, under the 
firm of JOHN S. BRYAN & CO., to be conducted by John S. Bryan. 

We tender you our services, and should you intrust any business 
to our care, we will endeavour to give satisfaction. 

264 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

The business at Plymouth, N.C. will be continued as heretofore, 
under the firm of BRYAN & M AITLAND, and will be conducted by 
Benjamin Maitland. 

Very respectfully, 

Your most obedient servants, 

Jno. S. Bryan 

Benj Maitland 

JOHN S. BRYAN will sign Jno. S. Bryan &Co 


[Addressed] E. Pettigrew Esq 
Cool Spring 

^This document is a printed form letter, with the date, addresses, salutation, 
and signatures in handwriting. 

William Biddle Shepard to Ebenezer Pettigrew a&h 

Alexandria D.C. Oct 8th i835 

My Dear Sir 

I received your letter a few days ago and on yesterday I went to 
Washington to enquire of Gadsby at what price you could procure 
two rooms. — 

His charge is five dollars a day I did not make any engagement 
with him thinking the price exorbitant and more than you would 
be willing to pay. — I think you will find a private boarding house 
preferable to a hotel on many accounts, the hours of meals at the 
Hotels are not arranged to suit members, and as to being alone, you 
can be as retired, as you please in a boarding house. I shall leave 
this place tomorrow for Newbern & expect to be absent about three 
weeks, on my return I will engage room at Gadsby's if you think 
proper. — I have received an offer for all the land near Memphis at 
2^2 dolls per acre, are you disposed to sell? I think the offer a very 
good one and that it is the interest of the heirs to accept it. — There 
are many squatters on the land, they are continually buying it for 
the taxes, and in a few years they will contrive to get it, or envolve 
us in a lawsuit that will cost more than the land is worth — Let me 
know your determination that I may communicate it to the person 
who wishes to purchase. 

Yours truly 
W B Shepard 

The Pettigrew Papers 265 

[Addressed] E Pettigrew Esqr 
Cool Spring 
North Carolina 

Charles Lockhart Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew UNC 

University Oct 11th i835 

Dear father 

It is more than probable that you have heard from me more than 
once since you left this place if not concerning my health and state 
of mind at least of my relative standing in college. 

The /trusstees/ passed a law that the parents of each student 
should be informed of the manner he was conducting himself in the 
institution. As to the relative number of each member of the class 
little confidence can be placed in them, for it is very difficult to 
distinguish between men nearly equal, and also the teacher is 
biassed sometimes in favour of one to the disparagement of 
another. The time is now at hand when the members of the senior 
class have to make each an original speech. I have prepared mine 
with considerable diligence, and hope to acquit /myself/ with 
credit: much is generally expected from them. The subject which I 
have chosen for my theme is emigration to the west. Almost the 
whole population in some parts of the state seem to be going to the 
west. Many who have made crops of corn <are> during the present 
year are making arrangements to sell and have an opportunity of 
of moving off as quick as possible. One gentleman living about 10 
or 15 miles from this place and wishing to dispose of his crop of 
corn to give him an opportunity of leaving the state, could not sell 
at 75 cents a bbl which shows the great abundance of crops in this 
section of the country. I expe/c/t corn will be very cheap and will 
bearly compensate the expense and trouble in producing it. And 
not only is the corn-crop abundant but also the other kinds of 
products cotton (says a gentleman who has travelled all through 
/the south/ purposely to know the state of the crop) never was more 
abundant and no season seems to have been more advantageous to 
its cultivation than the present. I should suppose therefore that it 
would be more advantageous to sell early. I saw elder Carson a few 
days ago he looked the same as he did when I first saw him at 
home, he was here attending at a <camp> camp-meeting, he 
informed me that he would be down <ho> in our part of the country 
in the fall. He is quite a good preacher and is a man of sound 
intellect. I received those monumental inscriptions that you sent 
me by the return stage. I have not as yet seen Mr Bingham <ano> 
but will hand him one of them /when I do/. I have a bad cold such 

266 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

an one as may prevent my speaking otherwise I am in good health, 
brother Wilham is well and sends his love to you I hope my dear 
father that you have enjoyed good he/a/lth through the sickly 
season I should be very glad to hear from you soon and I beg you to 
recive the grateful affection of a dutiful son 

Charles L Pettigrew 
[Addressed] M^ E. Pettigrew Esq 

Cool Spring "^ 

Washington Co 


Richard Benhury Creecy^ to William Shepard Pettigrew unc 

Edenton. Oct. 16th i835. 

Dear Billy: — 

Upon my return from the coast, a short time since, I found in the 
office the letter which you did me the favour to address me. It had 
been in the office for some time before my arrival, which explains 
the reason of it's having been so long unanswered. — The eastern 
coast of North Carolina, is an isolated situation, cut off from the 
mainland <in> by all regular communication, which renders them 
totally unacquainted with the circumstances and events which 
agitate the public mind away from home. They live on the barren 
sand and subsist on the products of fishing and the chase. — The 
portion of my time which I spent on the coast was quite agreeable 
from the novelty of the scenes by which I was surrounded. The 
manners & customs of the poeple and the general state of society 
was such as I had never before witnessed — and excited in my mind 
/ mind some surprise, which nevertheless afforded considerable 
amusement. You see mankind in the primative state of society 
before they have been checked by the refinements of civilized 
society or have felt the influence of education. They are as wild and 
.untrameled & untaught as the beasts that bound over their native 
sand hills. And I must confess that I find as much to admire in the 
character of these untaught men as I do in the character of those 
among whom education has shed her benign influence, and 
artificial regulations have marked out the pathway of rectitude. 
They are hospitable generous & humane, almost to a fault — and 
act upon that great & pure moral precept that we should do unto 
others as we would they should do unto us. — I remained among 
them during the whole of our sickly season and returned with very 
favourable impressions of the country & its / its inhabitants. 

I also found in the Office, on my return a letter from Charles 
which I wish you would inform him, I will soon reply to. I also 
recieved a communication from a committee of the Society — for 

The Pettigrew Papers 267 

which I beg you will make my acknowledgments & assure the 
society that I will soon reply to it.— 

Your sincere friend 
Richd. B. Creecy 
[Addressed] M^ Wm S. Pettigrew 
Chapel Hill 

^Richard Benbury Creecy (1813-1908), author and newspaper editor, was 
born near Edenton. After graduating from the University of North Carolina in 
1835, he passed the bar and settled in Elizabeth City, where he practiced law 
and then became a planter on the estate of his father-in-law, Edmund Perkins. 
In 1872 he began publishing a newspaper, the Economist, which was anti- 
Republican and anti-carpetbagger. He wrote a number of historical pieces, 
including some for Samuel A. Ashe's Biographical History of North Carolina, 
one of which was the sketch of his friend William Biddle Shepard. Creecy was a 
lifelong Episcopalian. Powell, DNCB, I, 460-461; Battle, History of the Univer- 
sity, I, 422, 795. 

Willis F. Riddick^ to Ehenezer Pettigrew unc 

Sunsbury, Oct. 27th 1835. 
Hon. Ehenezer Pettigrew 

Dear Sir, 

Your kind and friendly letter of the 29th ultimo, (enclosing three 
small volumes: two of which, contain Copies of ''Epitaphs in the 
Grave Yard at Bonarva Lake Phelps'' and the other one contains a 
copy of the "last Advice of the Rev. Charles Pettigrew to his sonsf') 
has been duly received; — And all of which, I accept of, with 
pleasure and gratitude. — I have been benefitted by reading them. — 
I have made my little nephews read them. — I have loaned them to 
Samuel R. Harrell, son of Mr. Noah Harrell, to read; and I intend to 
keep them while I live; and if I leave a Son, I will bequeath to him 
"the last Advice of a Father to his Sons;'' as an inheritance more 
worthy of his acceptance, than ''much money." 

The remaining four Barrels of Brandy, were sent in time, to go 
over in the next Boat. — I hope you have received the whole in 
Safety. I shall expect to See you, at our Old Cottage as you go on to 
Washington City. — Please use your influence to keep the Hon. W™ 
B. Shepard in the District, as our Representative. I hope to see you 
again. Soon. I feel much indebted to you; and therefore 

I am with much esteem, 

Yours respectfully, &c. 

Wilhs F. Riddick. 

268 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

[Addressed] Hon. Ebenezer Pettigrew. 
Cool Spring, 
Washington County, 
No Carolina 

'Willis Riddick represented Perquimans County in the North Carolina House 
of Commons in 1805, 1806, and 1807 and was a member of the state Senate from 
the same county in every session from 1808 to 1829 except that of 1822. Cheney, 
North Carolina Government, 250, 252, 254, 256, 258, 260, 262, 263, 265, 267, 269, 
270, 272, 274, 276, 278, 281, 283, 285, 287, 289, 291, 292. 

Ebenezer Pettigrew to Major Samuel Latham* a&h 

Lake Phelps Nov. 2, 1835 

My dear Sir, 

The time is fast approaching when I must leave my solitary 
home, and a place in which I have spent so many days of close, and 
unremitting attention to agricultural persuits for an entire new 
field, and certainly no man ever entered the Hall of Congress with 
less confidence; but I commence my new station with clean hands 
and a pure heart and most fervantly pray that I may retire from it 
with at least the approbation of a majority of my fellow citizens; 
nothing can embitter my last day more than their disapproval of 
my course, but I flatter myself that I shall be judged with an 
indugent eyes by at least a majority, and consider my errors to be of 
the head. I know I am poor creature. Since my return from visiting 
my dear children I have been busily engaged picking up the 
scattered pieces which an almost entire absence from my affairs 
had produced. 

It is a vain task to contemplate with composure my absence from 
my business and friends seven months, and in all that time pent up 
in a city, but as I am a fatallist I can but be reconciled to what may 

I understand that D^ Hall has appeared quite reconciled to his 
defeat and says that if he was to be he had rather it was myself 
than any one else, and farther he has told his friends that I am a 
safe man. If all that is from the bottom of his heart, (which I have 
no right to doubt) he has very much my respect and I do, as I have 
before done regret to have given him so much mortification, while I 
at the same time think most sincerely that the Doctor had gone 
long enough if not too long. 

About the middle of the month I expect to pass through 
Washington to visit my dear little children for a few days & on 
other private business at Newbern. I have been trying to so 
arrange it that I could spend between a stage at Washington but I 

The Pettigrew Papers 269 

think it will be impracticable and I shall be constrained to pass 
through. I should be very glad however to see you if it was but for a 
moment and I will inform M^ Wiswel when I shall return back from 
Newbern, at which time I shall [be] glad to inquire. I regret 
exceedingly to see the death of my friend Mr. Oliver; Poor man I 
thought he promised to live as long as any of the rest of us. But in 
the midst of life we are in death 

Will you have the goodness with some of my other friends in 
Beaufort County to give me the names of all those persons and 
their post office to whom I should send documents. I have made a 
similar request to M^ H. S. Clark^ of Loghouse. 

Agreeable to my expectation we had some early frost but since it 
has been warm, and the most unaccountable spell of N.C. weather 
that I have seen, which makes a miserable business of gathering 
corn & sowing wheat, a business I am now in the midst of, and I 
suspect it is not very good for picking out cotton. Hoping you are 
geting along well and to your satisfaction I will endeavor by 
sending my kind regards to My^ Latham. Make my best respects to 
all my friends of your acquaintance and assure yourself of my 
Esteem & Regard 

E Pettigrew 
Maj. S. Latham 

^This might refer to Henry S. Clark, who represented Beaufort County in the 
North Carolina House of Commons from 1832 to 1836 and served in the United 
States House of Representatives, 1845-1847. Cheney, North Carolina Govern- 
ment, 298, 302, 304, 685. 

Charles Lockhart Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew unc 

University Nov 7th 1835 

Dear father 

Brother William received your letter containing the bill of $100 
without any delay or any hindrance. The sum will be more than 
will /be/ needed for this session, but as you remarked the surplus 
can remain to lessen the sum necessary to be sent at the commence- 
ment of next session. I have now but a few more months to remain 
on the hill and will not require a sum much larger than I have 
hitherto had. You of course have recived letters from the faculty 
concerning our relative standing in our respective classes, whether 
it be good or bad; I hope that my general position has been such as 
to please you and entirely fair. I should be much gratified to learn 
from you in you letters what my number has been in my several 
studies so as to know whether it is as good as I expect it to be and 

270 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

whether I should apply my self with greater diligence. There has 
been a much greater amount of studying in college since this plan 
has been adopted, as all wish a good account to be sent to their 
parents and friends. It would /be/ a gratification and more than 
probably a permanent good to have an account of what the faculty 
/consider/ us in our college duties. 

Mr C. Burgwyn^ met with quite a severe accident yesterday: he 
with four other young gentlemen went partridge-hunting and 
when in the act of shooting a bird one of them shot Mr B. the bird 
having flown between him and the one shoting — his injury is not 
very serious, but it has made quite sick, he rec/e/ived two shot the 
one in his nose in the place where it joins the face and the other in 
the extreme corner of this eye. That kind of hunting where they 
shoot entirely on the wing is quite dangerous and more especially 
when there are several in company; the animation is so great, and 
so great quickness is necessary, that they never look what they are 
about or who is in danger, the bird is the only object that attracts 
attention. I have dear father received nothing very deffinite with 
respect to the place where I shall spend my vacation. Some month 
ago I recived a letter from James Shepard in which he said that 
grandma expressed great joy at the prospect of seeing us this 
winter. — It would doubtless be a source of /the/ greatest pleasure 
to spend it in Newburn, when I should have an opportunity of 
seeing my relations and my dear little brother and sisters. But I am 
inclined to ask you for another destiny, for a very good reason. My 
teeth are in a very bad condition, I have but few teeth that are not 
decaying; all my jaw-teeth are rotting and m/an/y of them so far 
that I shall have to lose them and my front teeth have also 
commenced, and the decay proceeds so fast, that I really fear, 
unless something is done quickly, nothing can be done The more 
rubbing them with a brush, makes the bleed every morning 
Therefore I assume it as position that something is necessary to be 
done. The dentists in this part of the country are quacks and 
frequently do more harm than good. By going a little farther North 
I may come a-cross one that is a good one. The sum of money it will 
take to go from here to Baltimore /is/ $22,50 this account I saw the 
merchant make out, who had been from here there only a month 
ago; and from thence to Washington <[illegible] with> but little 
additional expense will be incurred. It would take $12 to go from 
here <home> /to Newburn/ and to home $21. So that it will cost 
but little more to go to Baltimore than to go home, where I might 
meet with a first rate dentist. My dear father I write this as the 
honest conviction of my heart for my own good, and not because I 
wish [to] go for the purpose of having a fine jaunt and of say[ing] I 
have been to Baltimore or Washington, I have, I am glad to say, no 
such silly axiety; silly because it is childish. For my own part, if it 

The Pettigrew Papers 271 

were not to see my relations, and but for the reasons just given, I 
had infinitely rather remain on C. Hill. But not withstanding these 
reason of the calmest kind I submit myself entirely to your better 
judgement and without pressing the matter further and will 
cherfully do as you say. and I would not even now have suggested 
the plan I proposed had I not been influenced by the firmest 
conviction of my mind after tho<u>rough consideration that the 
small sum spent now will be of incalculable value hereafter, and 
that if that sum is now withheld in a short time the desired object 
could not be obtain even with 20 times the amount. We are both 
well. Brother William sends his love to you and believe me to be 
<ver> /ever/ dutiful and affectionate 

Charles L Pettigrew 

Please answer this letter soon 

[Addressed] M^ E. Pettigrew Esq 


Washington Co 

N Carolina 

^The only Burgwyn who has been identified as a university student at the 
time this letter was written is Hasel (Hazell) Witherspoon Burgwyn of 
Hillsborough. Battle, History of the University, I, 433, 796. 

James Louis Petigru to Ehenezer Pettigrew unc 

Charleston 25 Nov^ 1835 

Dear Ebenezer, 

You will receive this letter by the hands of my friend and school 
fellow Mr Grayson,^ to whom I have been long and faithfully 
attached. — Your friend Shocco Jones^ told me last summer that the 
Nullifiers in your district all voted for you, and I infer from that, 
that there is no danger in introducing a nullifier to you — and I 
gratify my feelings in making you acquainted with a gentleman of 
the greatest worth, without apprehending any shock to your 
steadfast union principles. — Wishing you a pleasant season and 
hoping to here from you sometimes I am Dear Ebenezer 

Your friend & cousin 
J. L Petigru 

^Perhaps Petigru referred to William John Grayson (1788-1863); both men 
graduated from South Carolina College in 1809. Grayson, an attorney, served 
as a Whig in the United States House of Representatives, 1833-1837. Biographi- 
cal Directory of Congress, 969. 

272 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

^Joseph Seawell Jones (ca. 1808-1855) of Shocco Springs, Warren County, 
was a North Carolina historian, a man of fashion, a noted duellist, and a 
prankster. Some time after the date of this letter he moved to Mississippi, where 
he spent the remaining years of his life. Marshall DeLancey Haywood, 
Builders of the Old North State, edited by Sarah McCulloh Lemmon (Raleigh: 
Privately printed, 1968), 179-183, hereinafter cited as Haywood, Builders of the 
Old North State. Shocco Springs was a popular resort for many years. Johnson, 
Ante-Bellum North Carolina, 188. 

Ehenezer Pettigrew to Mary Williams Bryan unc 

Washington City Dec. 9, 1835 

My dear Sister, 

I received your favor of the S^^ yesterday and have but time to say 
that I received M^ Bryans letter as I left Plymouth and gave Jim 
the necessary orders respecting my dear dear Nancys Piano, 
which was that Ben should take it to you as soon as he returned & 
rested. I hope you have it by this. I directed Jim to take all the music 
out, if he has not you will be so good as to take care of it as I wish all 
my dear wifes music to be saved untill her dear daughters are 

You see by the date of my letter that I am in Washington and I 
now am writing you this letter at my desk in the H. of R. more at 
home than you could immagine for poor forlorn me, but I have no 
home and consequenly every place has been for the last five years a 
home. I am strange to the world & <every> no one is a stranger to 
me. I find I am not the meanest man in this house. But believe me I 
think I am a poor creature. I am yet at <the> Browns Hotel, but 
expect to join a mess tomorrow. William Shepard & Gov. Kent^ for 
two of it. 

I think Parties will run high, and I shall be a doubtfull character 
in the eyes of men. You know I am a mighty independent man 
when I sit out. 

We begin to die very soon. Senator Smith^ of Connecticut was put 
away yesterday and I learn from a Doctor, that Kain^ the Senator 
from Illinois is at the point of death & he has no hope of him. I took 
a violent cold on the way, and have had a bad cough, but it is 
wearing out. The weather has been cold & I am told that north and 
west of this there is plenty of snow. Nothing has been done yet and 
we expect to adjourn from Thursday to Monday, happy times, good 
pay & nothing to do yet. Genl Speight"^ has been confined to his 
room for the last two day with indisposition. I think he is more 
unwell than his friend D^^ [William] Mongomery did but he is the 
doctor & must be right. William says that M^^s S[hepard]. is under 
the direction of a Physician from Baltimore, & she is very much 
oppressed with his medicines she is no better, perhaps a little better 

The Pettigrew Papers 273 

today. Do write frequently & let me know how you are, for this 
place can never impair my memory. I am perfectly satisfyed why 
persons are so anxious to get to the white house, but I have not time 
to tell now. Please to see that the Spectator is directed to this place. 
May God Almighty have mercy on me & bless you all is the prayer 
of your affct. Brother 

E Pettigrew 

1 Joseph Kent (1779-1837) was governor of Maryland, 1826-1829. A supporter 
of Henry Clay, he was elected to the United States Senate in 1833, where he was 
serving at the time of his death. DAB, X, 347-348. 

2Nathan Smith (1770-1835) served in the United States Senate from 1833 
until December 6, 1835, the date of his death. Biographical Directory of 
Congress, 1621-1622. 

3Ehas Kent Kane (1794-1835) served in the United States Senate from 1825 
until December 12, 1835, the date of his death. Biographical Directory of 
Congress, 1143. 

''Jesse Speight, a Whig from Greene County, was in Congress at this time. He 
was succeeded in the next term by Charles Biddle Shepard. Cheney, North 
Carolina Government, 680. 

Doctrine and Mary Davenport to Ehenezer Pettigrew a&h 

Belgrade December 18th, i835 

Dear Friend, 

I received your favour A few days since and was sorry to hear 
that you was unwell but I am in hopes that you will soon recover 
from your cold I have got popler neck broke up and I expect it wil 
take me About four days to finish at Belgrade breaking up ground I 
am at this time having the staulks caryed from the new ground to 
the old ground and it is enugh to very the pattience of Jobe I have 
burnt the bricks and I think they have burnt betr than eny I have 
ever seen burnt About here and I do not think their is 2 thousand 
but what is good bricks I examined the corn to day and found it awl 
kept well the hogs are very good I do not think I shal have any pork 
to by the hogs at Belgrade are very good I think some of them wil go 
to two hundred Mr Newberry has fixt at his old mill and has gone 
to grinding himself he sent over some corn and it was not fit to 
grind one/half of it was rat tails and I sent him word if he did not 
send better corn I wod not grind it is not fit to feed the sows and pigs 
and thank god I have got clear of one truble Ben and Lydia has 
arived at home safe now I have sent him back with the Pianno he 
told me that your little Children was awl well Dr Bell will not be 
mareead this side of Chrismas 

I remain your sincier friend 
Doctrin Davenport 

274 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

Dear Friend, 

I receved your pr.'^asent with A greate deale of pleasure I was sory 
to hear that you was unwell and was a thousand times Ablige to 
you for it. Mr Pettigrew you have more than I could expect from eny 
person I could not expect what you have done for me from a Father 
I fear that you have put your self to two much trouble for me Mr 
Pettigrew they have bin great calculations made at the Lake since 
you left by Mrs Sam Spruil and Miss Caroline bateman they went 
to take A look at the lake since you left Mrs Spruil say that you 
have two Daughter and she has two sons they can mary when old 
enough and her orther Daugher can mary Mr William Pettigrew 
and live at Belgrade and Miss Caroline mary Mr Charles Pettigrew 
and live at the Lake Miss Caroline says that she will like to live at 
the Lake very well 

I remain your sincier friend 
Mary M Davenport 
[Addressed] Hon. E Pettigrew 

Washington City 

Ebenezer Pettigrew to John Herritage Bryan UNC 

Washington City Dec 20, 1835 

My dear Sir, 

I received your favour in due course of the mail and am very 
much obliged for your attention to my business. I hope all /will/ be 
got straight. Agreeable to your request I called at the office of the 
Intelligencer and paid the sum according to the receit inclosed. 

Lidias reluctance to leave Newbern and my poor dear little 
Nancys distress at her going, has given me a great deal of sorrow & 
distress, and I do wish I knew what was right to do as respects 
Lidia, she deserves a great deal from my hands, but how I am to 
treat her except as a favorite slave, I know not, and I think there is 
no other treatment that will give her so much real composure 
through life, as for happiness ther is none in this world. 

Frederick Shepard, & Charles Pettigrew are here, and I suppose 
will stay some days more to see the fashions of the city. 

I am located at a boarding house on the Avenue about half way 
from Gadsbys to the Capital. It is a good house, and a good mess, 
among them are brother W. when in the City, Gov. Kent & M^ 
Goldsborough^ of the Senate. 

Frederick, tells me to say, that he was on his way to the promised 
land but /he/ is so bound up with ice as not to be able to go farther. 

The Pettigrew Papers 275 

& I think will return to his wife & child for this winter at least. 

I have not yet seen M^s w. S. Poor woman from what I can learn 
she is evidently no better, and I am of the opinion gradually 
sinking into the grave. 

So far I am geting along tolerably composed; I find they are not 
all great men that are here. On Fryday last there was a petition 
from Massachussets presented for the abolition of Slavery in the 
district, which produced a great deal of angry debate, and such 
words as I thought might bring on a fight. The animation or 
ranting was equal to any of mine on the plantation. I believe the 
subject of abolition will be in the House of Representitives, like a 
fire brand in a powder house., <de> Depend upon it, it is a 
dangerous question to discuss in that house, though I am decidedly 
in favour of having the subject fully argued, let the consequences 
be what they might. We may by that means know what we have to 
depend on. 

I have a bad cold which I took geting here and am now labouring 
under a very disagreeable head ache, which renders me a part of 
the time unfit for anything. Had my health permited I should this 
evening gone with Fredrick & Charles to Alexandria. 

We have had it very cold, and disagreeable since I have been 
here, and I apprehend a cold miserable winter, and as much 
pleasure as if I was in the penatentiary , but it will go in a life time. I 
have called on the President & Judge White^ & no more I am 
invited to an evening Party at the Presidents on the 24th, but I 
think of going down to Baltimore that evening to be out of the way 
of the mirth on Christmas. Christmas /day/ has been the very 
opposit of mirth to me for the /last/ six. I have not since the year 
1829 inclusive either eat or drank, on that day nor do I ever believe I 
shall while I live. I would to God that the past year had been spent 
in such a way as to justify my conscience in going to the Lords 
table, but mercifull God I have thought too little of those eternal 
affairs to venture. If my present situation had been of my own 
seeking, I should be obliged to die, but I hope God will have mercy 
on me and continue to strive with poor wicked me. 

Please to make my kind regards to Sister Mary the dear children, 
and all my other friends, and accept assurances of my sincere 
Esteem & Regard 

E Pettigrew 

John H. Bryan Esqr 

^Robert Henry Goldsborough (1779-1836) was a Whig senator from Mary- 
land. He died on October 5, 1836. Biographical Directory of Congress, 954. 

^Hugh Lawson White (1773-1840), a senator from Tennessee, was the 
southern conservative choice for the presidency over Martin Van Buren but did 
not receive the Whig party nomination. Biographical Directory of Congress, 
1804; Cole, Whig Party in the South, 39-44. 

276 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

John Herritage Bryan to Ebenezer Pettigrew a&h 

New Bern Dec. 28. 1835. 

My dear Sir, 

I reed, yours of the [blank] by last Ral^ [Raleigh] mail — we are all 
truly concerned to learn that William's wife is so low & sympathize 
with him in his affliction. — We are all very well — William P. is here 
& seems quite sedate & contented. — <The> I shall leave here for 
the Sup"^e Co. about the 1st Jany. and shall be absent about 10 
days. — Mary Pettigrew learns her music very well — Nancy seems 
now quite reconciled to the absence of Lydia — she is learning very 
prettily & quite fast enough. — 

Alex: Gaston 1 & wife have sold their Mattamuskeet plant" for 
$17,500, he talks of going to Tenn. 

All the children wish to subscribe to the Washington monument^ — 
I will send you their subscriptions written by & with the hand of 
each of them in due time. — I am obliged to you for the doccuments 
you send me occasionally — 

The piano arrived without injury. 

[Addressed] Hon: E Pettigrew 
Washington City 

Your friend & relation 
Jn. H. Bryan 

^Alexander Gaston, the son of William Gaston, represented Hyde County in 
the Constitutional Convention of 1835. He was a major general of the state 
militia. Gaston eventually moved to Burke County. Ashe, Biographical 
History, Wll, 114. 

^The Washington National Monument Society was formed in 1833 to raise 
funds for the erection of the monument presently in Washington, D.C. The 
cornerstone was laid in 1848 and the monument was completed in 1884. World 
Book Encyclopedia (1978 edition), XXI, 86. 

Charles Lockhart Pettigrew and Ebenezer Pettigrew 

to William Shepard Pettigrew unc 

Washington City Dec 30 1835 

Dear Brother 

I at length have commenced writing you a letter, doubtless you 
have been expecting one for a long time, and have wondered why I 
delay so long the reason is most plain and evident for in Washington 
no one has time to do any necessary business the time slips off from 
morning untill night and no one can tell how it passes, it is spent 

The Pettigrew Papers 277 

very agreeably, although one could wish more profitably: In the 
morning we rise late and when seated at the dinner table we need 
not expect to rise before the twilight begins to glow around us. I 
was quite agreeably entertained by a few remarks which flowed 
mellifluent from the lips of our great American orator H[enry]. 
Clay, his words were few, but they carried the feelings to whatso- 
ever part they tended: his manner the /most/ affable and enticing, 
the tones of his well modulated voice representing fitly the 
sentiments they were intended to convey. In truth to have duly 
appreciated his manly eloquence it would have been necessary to 
have heard <of heard> him. Washington is quite an active and 
lively place. The President gave a large party at which /had the 
honor to be present; Governor Cass^ will give one soon. I shall be 
able to communicate <to> with you more intelligibly when I see 
you Give my love to Grandma my uncles and Aunt and also tell my 
little brother and sisters that I often think of them 

Your Brother 
Charles L Pettigrew 

I left my letter open for father to write some in but he says he can 
not now he sends his love to you and all his relations 

Charles L Pettigrew 

My dear Son, 

I had told brother Charles that I could not come up to write, but 
the company broke from Dinner about six oclock and I got up stair 
in time to take a peep at his letter & write these few lines. Brother 
Charles has writen a real Shepard letter. I am my dear William as 
tired of this place and legislating as I ever was with any business 
in my life, but I am going ahead with my usual energy and am 
trying to make myself conspicuous & to do something for the 
honour of the nation. I was invited to Presidents party but that 
night I went to Baltimore, that I might in Christmas times indulge 
the gloomy habit of my soul. I go tomorrow night to Gov. Cass, and 
Mrs Cass party. May God bless you my dear William 

E Pettigrew 
[Addressed] M^ William Pettigrew 

<Newbern> /Chapel Hill/ 
N. Carolina 

^Lewis Cass (1782-1866) had served as governor of Michigan Territory, 1813- 
1831. He was secretary of war under President Andrew Jackson from 1831 to 
1836. Later Cass was minister to France, a United States senator, and secretary 
of state under President James Buchanan. DAB, III, 563. 

278 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

Joshua S. Swift^ to Ebenezer Pettigrew a&h 

Raleigh Jan 9th 1836. 

Dear Sir 

Having an opportunity I cheerfully embrace it to inform you of 
the passage of your bill through both Houses. It simply empowers 
you to build a bridge with a draw, and compels you or your 
associates to keep the Bridge in repair according to the existing 
law on the subject. There is a penalty amount to the bill of fifty 
Dollars should it sustain any injury or damage by any individual — 
We have agreed to adjourn on next Saturday but it is out of the 
question the most important business is now before the Legislature 

The surplus revenue & the bill to incorporate the Charleston & 
Cincinatti railroad company with banking privileges — which has 
passed the Senate 

The Legislature is nearly through with the revised code & the 
election of all the Officers of the State except one Judge. Moses 
Bailey, Heath, & W. C. Stanly are in nomination Stanly it is 
supposed will be withdrawn if he is I fear for Bailey. I believe that it 
is admitted by all that this session has been distinguished for its 
political & party feelings — I had no idea of the extent that those 
feelings were frequently carried I lament exceedingly that you 
have any idea of withdrawing into private life, though I must 
admit that your view of the subject is both right and powerful I do 
most truly appreciate your sacrifices, which are as great or greater 
than these of any person and full well do I know how revolting the 
life is to one of your habits & pursuits. I have conversed with 
several gentlemen from the District who are exceedingly anxious 
that you should continue. I should be very much gratified myself 
were you to run, but I leave it all entirely with yourself knowing 
that whatever <deciss> course you pursue will be the correct one. I 
should like to hear how you are, you wrote me before that you were 
unwell. I hope that you have recovered. Please accept my respects 

With respect and esteem yours &c. &c. 

Joshua S. Swift 

Hon. E Pettigrew 

N.B. I took the liberty of sending you a discourse delivered by the 
Rev. Mr. Freeman of this place on the duties of master and servant. 

Very &c. 
J. S. Swift 
[Addressed] Hon. Ebenezer Pettigrew. 
Washington City. 
D. Columbia. 

The Pettigrew Papers 279 

^Joshua S. Swift served in the North CaroUna House of Commons from 
Washington County, 1836-1837. Cheney, North Carolina Government, 308. 

Ehenezer Pettigrew to James Cathcart Johnston unc 

[January 15, 1836] 

Washington City Jan 15, 1836, 8 oclock and I have just retired 
from the Tea & dinner table, having set down to the dinner table at 
half past 4 oclock. Good Lord deliver me from this body of bustle, 
confusion fashion & sin, and forgetfullness of him who made me 
and has protected me to this day; and do you think My dear Friend, 
that I have forgoten you? I answer no, for I have from time to time 
intended to write to you but a multiplicity of everything & not least; 
necessary correspondence has prevented. I repeat again No, May 
dear friend this mind of mine can never forget days gone by. I 
thank my God it never can, and that my recollections will go down 
with me to the grave. Although I seem to be enjoying the present, 
my mind dwells & lives upon the past. But you will say enough of 
this, and so will I & quit. 

You no doubt see from the papers what that most magnanimous 
& I may almost say rowdy body the House of Representitives are 
doing, which is as near nothing as any thing can be. This is called 
the calm deliberative assembly of the whole nation. Mercy defend 
me. A body with a few exceptions composed of all sorts of men. 
Why my dear sir before I came here I thought I should be the 
smallest of the small, but without flatery I now think no such 
thing. My self esteem has I hope been moderately small, but to 
think that I must have not one particle. I am accommodating 
myself to my situation and geting along chearily, exercising all the 
prudence in talking and acting which is in my power, but my 
friends tell me /I am/ in a good deal of danger. I cannot feel fear 
and when a dog growls I feel like I want to kick him. 

I did not get in at Gadsby's the extortionate wretch by his charge 
forbid it, and I think I am much better situated even if it were the 
same price. Our mess is composed of the Senators from Maryland, 
and three representitives of that State & M^^ Shepard, who poor 
fellow does not stay with us more than his duties demand. M^s 
Shepard being at her fathers ( Alexandia) in I fear the last stage of 
consumption. Mans joys are of but short duration in this poor, 
miserable scurvy world. The two Senators & one of the House are 
fine jovial men I make the fourth. I have been since I came and was 
at the time of my coming some what indisposed, but I am now in as 
good health as I ever was. It would seem as if nothing could kill me 
but bullets or dirks. 

280 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

Any thing, no matter what, will excite the house and bring forth 
the most violent ranting & raving, called speeches, but the most 
exciting subjects that will be before the house this session are the 
Abolition & Ohio & Michigan Boundry, and they are really so. I 
can compare an abolition petition presented to the house to a 
firebrand thrown into a powder magazine and sooner or later and 
probably sooner than many are aware will blow up this Union The 
French war^ seems to be at an end, though I did not for a moment 
think that this congress would declare war or any restrictive 
measures. M^ Barton^ has arrived and though nothing official to 
congress, has been given, nor anything to the public from the 
administration yet I was confidentially informed yesterday <who 
was> by a member who was told by one deep in the secrets that 
there would be no war, nor the least probability of one. It is said 
there is a great deal of party action here, but I take no part in it yet 
and have not seen any reason. I have and think shall take the 
liberty of voting as I think right. I think I discover a good deal of 
distance from some of the red hot partisans, but poor devils, it has 
no more effect on my feelings than the power of a Hackman, many 
of whome are probably as good as they are. O with what disgust do 
I look at some of those would be great men, and how perfectly is the 
mistery solved, why men would leave their wives & families and 
their little interest at home that they might be in Congress. To be 
called the Honourable, to /be/ waited on by white men, to be bowed 
to in the most humble and in many instances in the sicofantic 
manner, to be invited to the partis of the first man of the nation, the 
President, and then by the heads of departments, in truth to be 
courted in all sorts of ways, and finally to exchange their miserable 
filthy Yankey rum, & whiskey which most of them swill at home, 
for their Madeira wine &c and their fine dinners whch the eight 
dollars allows is enough make a great many leave everything for. 

This is the patrotism which actuates most of our public men. 
When I set down to write I had no idea of all this philipic against 
the imperfection of man. and will have done after ask my pardon. 
Prices of all sort of Provisions are high and I see no probability of 
their being lower. In truth there are good times for planters and I 
hope from the crop of corn which I gathered before I left home to be 
able to sink a portion of my debt with you. 

I regreted that my business prevented my leaving home a day or 
two sooner that I might have visited you on the way to this place. I 
hope to see you at this place before the end of the winter, when I 
think you may make out to spend a week or two tolerably 
pleasantly if not profitably. Please to /make/ my best respects to 
the Ladies and assure yourself of the Esteem & regard of your 

E Pettigrew 

The Pettigrew Papers 281 

Excuse this miserable scrawl believe me I am perfectly sober but 
full of impetuousity & mistake 

James C. Johnston esqr 

N.B. Give my compliments to M^ Woodley and tell him I am going 
on here in the same way I did on the Plantation. Right ahead 

[Addressed] James C. Johnston Esqr 
N. Carolina. 

^At this time the dispute between the United States and France concerning 
spoHation claims was at a critical stage. See Thomas Trotter to Ebenezer 
Pettigrew, May 17, 1834, note, in this volume. 

^Thomas Pennant Barton (1803-1869) was a United States diplomat who 
lived in France and served as charge d'affaires during the negotiations of 
spoliation claims in 1835 and 1836. Barton also acquired a large collection of 
rare books. Who Was Who in America: Historical Volume, 1607-1896 (Chicago: 
Marquis Who's Who, revised edition, 1967), 112. 

Doctrine Davenport to Ebenezer Pettigrew a&h 

Belgray Jan. 17, 1836 

Dear Friend 

I recived your letter and nothing give me and Mary so much 
pleasure as to hear from you every thing is A going on as well as I 
could expect it continers wet last eaveing we had A litle snow 
which was A bout two inches deep rain folowed it which melted it it 
is now mild and pleasent we have had one good weake of weather 
since Christmas in seaven day we have roled logs of forty acars of 
ground which I defy North [Amerca] to beater we have not got the 
lodgs eny of them burnt yit have ben so weet I have got the pine 
thicket cut down at the howel place I have got A bout six hundread 
barrels of corn nubed I was at Mr Wood[/]eys to day and saw his 
corn I do not think he will have more than one hundread barrels to 
sell. Bill have behaved him self very well and have bin great 
assistance to me old Charles is no earthly A count he have 
disobade my orders he and Jim both at this time the famialey is 
awl healthey and strong now I give you the nuse of scuperlong and 
woful nuse it is I am sorry to inform you that the small pox is in this 
neighborhood in the neighborhood of John Houghton so says Dr 
Bell and Dr Seavis their was A gentlemon from Elizabeth city 
which brought it here he came her with it her and had it so litely 
that he did not no what it was his buisness was to keep store at the 
wood place their was three men that was in his company and awl 
three caught it gid Lamb has dide with it nemine [Nehemiah] 

282 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

Norman expecting to dy with it Mathews felp [Phelps] expecting 
him to dy with it the people have no kind of prudence they have 
gone far and ner to see them their is no doubt in one faugh tnit their 
will be fifty cases of it in the county god have mercy [u]pun us pray 
advise with me what is the best corse to persue I am determin to 
make my people awl stay at home I intend for Mary and my self to 
stay in the chimney corner I have talked to the negros and told 
them the consquence it is my and Marys sincier prare that we may 
see you once more nothing wold give us so much as to have one 
hours chat with you we look out in our lonesome hours to see if you 
are comeing but we no it is in vain but we pray to that god that rules 
the heavens and the earth that we may see you one more Mr Stubs 
Daughter Nancy was taken sicke the orther night and when they 
waked in the morning they found her dead and no one knew any 
thing about it until they went in the rome next morning on the 15 
day of this month Finer blowed Zack Bonds brains out he is taken 
and putin Plymth jail the lode went in at his eye and went out at the 
back part of his head so you see Mr Pettigrew the people are wors 
her then they are at the city washinton Dr Bell met with A bad 
accdent he got one of his best beds burnt up his negro woman went 
in after [illegible] and carlessley tutced fir to the bed and had liked 
to burnt the house up Dr Bell at this time has gon up the sound to 
get married and expect to bring his lady down in A day or two Mary 
sinds her love to you 

I remain your sincier freind 
Doctrin Davenport 

NB <I have rote> I have wrote A letter every mail and please to let 
me no if you reciv one every mail I reeved A letter from William 
Pettigrew he is well please to write me as soon as you get this letter 

[Addressed] Hon E Pettigrew 

John Herritage Bryan to Ebenezer Pettigrew a&h 

New Bern Jany. 19. 1836 

My dear Sir, 

I wrote you from Raleigh & hope you received my letter in due 
time. — 

We are all well — Mr. Hawks^ has taken charge of the Griffin 
School & our daughters now go to Miss Allen in the Academy. — 

The Pettigrew Papers 283 

It appears that our section of the State will not be benefited by 
the distribution of the surplus by our legislature — the state of 
things here & the prospect never were more gloomy. — 

I have been strongly urged by Judge Cameron^ to remove to 
Raleigh — the advantages in rearing the children in a healthy 
country & in good society are very strong inducements. — 

Things here I fear will become worse & worse, and as the girls 
grow up their associations will be more & more important. 

I believe that M^s Shepard has made up her mind to remove with 
James [Biddle Shepard]. She could not live without him & he is 
willing to fix himself in Raleigh which will no doubt fix her 
residence there — 

You must not however let this be known as coming from me; as 
you know she likes secrets. 

I think it very probable that I shall remove to Raleigh; tho' I 
should have to make a great sacrifice in property & business — but 
the health of M^s B & the family would no doubt be much 
benefited. — 

I am much obliged to you for purchasing the book for me, I have 
not yet received it. — Our mails are in a very confused state. — 

If we conclude to remove to Raleigh, it wd. be better probably to 
have the family there by next summer. — 

Mrs Bryan sends her affectionate regards. Mary will write 
shortly. — 

Yrs truly 
Jn. H. Bryan 
[Addressed] [To/] of The Hon: 
E Pettigrew 
Ho. of Repr. 

^This may refer to Cicero Stephens Hawks of New Bern, who graduated from 
the University of North CaroHna in 1830. He later moved to New York, and in 
1844 he was elected bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church of Missouri. 
Battle, History of the University, I, 325, 793; Appleton's Cyclopedia, III, 122. 

^This probably refers to Duncan Cameron (1777-1853), an attorney who had 
served at one time as a superior court judge. He had also sat in both houses of 
the state legislature and was president of the State Bank of North Carolina, 
clerk of the state supreme court, and a member of the board of internal 
improvements. Cameron was one of the largest plantation owners in the South. 
He lived at Fairntosh and in Raleigh. Powell, DNCB, I, 311. 

284 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

Doctrine Davenport to Ebenezer Pettigrew a&h 

Belgrade Janu 24, 1836 

Dear Friend 

I recived you favour and it give me and Mary great pleasure and 
satisfaction to hear from you at this time every thing is agoing on 
as well as I could expect Awl the famialey is in very good health at 
this time it is very wet the water in the Lake is five feet and 
continues to rise the bee tree is stil sunke in water I have had but 
one good weake of weather since Chrismas last eavening we had 
the heavest rain that I have seen in twelve months the hole face of 
the earth is sunke in water at this time I am nubing corn at the 
Lake I can do nothing else I shal finish nubing corn in A bout three 
day more I have finished roleing logs I have roled logs of eaighty 
acars of land in A bout 15 day with sixteen hands so you see Mr 
Pettigrew that I am A hole hog man rain or shine I have not bin 
able to start A plough since Christmas I have got my sawing 
nearley awl done at the Lake I shal finish in A bout A weake more I 
have got pomp and Jerry sawing out her and Hary and sam 
hewing those men which rold logs their shose Mr Pettigrew is 
giveing out may I not give them A norther pare I thinke they are 
deserveing of them they have not worked like men they have 
worked like horses I can say Mr Pettigrew you no the corse I have 
stucke to them excepting one or two the negrose have behaved very 
well Tom Bell Sam and Hary sends their compliments to you I 
recived A letter from Provedence last mail stateing that come was 
was one doller and five sents A bushes and none in market I 
recived A letter from you Mr Pettigrew stateing some articals in 
which you send to Mary and Mary says she is A thousan times 
Ablige to you it is more than she could expect from A father she 
cannot express her thankes by wordes please to write me when you 
wish A lode of corn shipt now I give you the nuse of scupernong Mr 
felpes is dead with the small pox their is three or four more cases of 
it Dr Bell is married and brought his lady down Mary has bin in her 
company and is very much pleased wither they are very fash- 
ingible they dine at two and set until four and drinke tea half after 
eaight and set until A leaven for my part Mr Pettigrew I am out of 
the scrape their is no one can teach him except Mr Collinse he has 
broyed every thing he can bory ande I expect he wil send over after 
the [methene] [machine?] house and stables next I thinke it is 
anorther Dr Warren. Mary wente over to prepare the super ande it 
come one to raine and she had to walke home in the raine his horses 
ande brush [barouche] doing nothing Joeseph Tarkenton laste 
thursday night was married to jentla armstrong General Batemane 
hirs Mr Alexandria and gives him two hundred ande fiftey dollers 
Mary now sendes you A peace of the D^^ wedding cake of her one 

The Pettigrew Papers 285 

[own] make Mary sendes her kind and affectionate love to you I 
remaine your sincier friende 

Doctrin Davenport 
[Addressed] Hon. E Pettigrew 
Washington City 

Ehenezer Pettigrew to John Herritage Bryan unc 

Washington Jan 27, 1836 

My dear Sir, 

I receivd your favour of 22nd today and took no time in answering 
it, which is the 54*^ since I came to this place. I attended to the 
business mentioned in your letter without delay and wrote M^^ 
Blount on the 15*^ and you will please to give my love to my dear 
little Mary and tell her that I answered her favour on the 14th. i 
think Genl M^Key is a keen hand at a bargain. If I can promote 
Young Streets wishes it will be done. Genl <Speight> Speight was 
taken sick the first week of the session and was not in the house 
often, about a fortneight ago he left for N.C. and I understand he 
will not be back before the first of March. I send you today the 
document asked and one on the legacy to the City. I am glad to 
learn that your Bank declares so good a dividend, but we are geting 
into a bad state with our currency. Banks are multiplying to such a 
degree that in less than five years there will be a greater flood of 
paper than was ever known, and if we should have a French war, I 
know not what will become of us, so perfectly defenceless as we are 
on the whole coast. On that subject I have not had the least idea 
that we should have a war untill within ten days, but since that 
time my opinion has been changing, though not in the secrets, and 
to strengthen my apprehention, M^ C. C. Cambeling^ in a speech 
today on M*" J. Q Adams' resolution to enquire into the cause of the 
loss of the appro<pro>priation bill for fortifications on the last 
day of the last session of Congress remarked 'that peace & war 
with France w<as>ere so equally balanced that a feather would 
turn the scale. You are at liberty to hand this extract to the 

William S. went this afternoon to Alexandria; I will mention 
your request to him. Last week they thought M^s S a little better but 
this week not so well. I cannot see how it is possible for the poor 
dear woman ever to recover, and I consider the case next to entirely 
hopeless. M^' S. bears his situation with great firmness. 

My health is at this time perfectly good, but on that subject and 
my opinion of Congress & & I must refer you to brother Charles' 

286 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

letter of the 26th The debate continued all this day on M^ A. 
resolution, and there are not less than fifteen that have speeches 
on hand for that subject. Three full days have already been spent 
and but four have yet spoken. I cannot but think that if our 
constituants could but be here and see what we spend our time at, 
the Hall would be very soon emptied. We have had a great deal of 
bad weather since the year set in; not less than ten snows & the 
ground is now covered and the slays driving as if old satan was 
after the people, to the great injury & distress of the horses. I regret 
to learn that Poor Johnston is so thin and puny. I very much fear 
that he will not be raised, and /all/ 1 can say is, God's will be done. 
I am pleased to understand that you are all except Poor Johnston 
in good health, I pray you may continue so. Please to make my kind 
regards to sister Mary, and all other of my friends, and tell them 
that though I am in this crazy place, and am going with the 
multitude old friends & days gone by cannot nor shall not ever be 
forgoten by me. 

Sincerely & truely your friend & relation 

E Pettigrew 

John H. Bryan 

N.B. I feared before I came to this place I should be one amongst 
the poorest members in the house, but tis without flattery to myself 
I think no such thing, but all that is no compliment. Many are poor 
indeed, and in more ways than one or two. 

You see the Indian war^ is like to be a serious affair, yesterday the 
house appropriated five hundred thousand dollars more to carry 
on the war with the poor miserable, persecuted, and oppressed 
wretches. My heart bleeds when I think how those poor wretches 
have been dealt with from the cupidity of the whites. This nation 
must be visited for such offences to God. Nothing do I believe more 
certainly than that the Almighty will reward good & punish evil, 
as well in nations as in individuals. I have been to two parties (Gov. 
Cass') and quit; there is too great a squese for me, and what I call 
gentlemen are too scarce at them for me. My God how many here 
are in disguise. 

Tell sister Mary that though a poor wicked sinner, I keep the 
bible & prayer book on my writing table, and that I must read it 
through before I leave this City. I take this not as a task but as a 
duty & pleasure. 


[January] 28 P.S. I am sick this morning. I shall always be glad to 
hear from you & any of my friends. Please to make my respects to 
my friend M^ Robarts. 

The Pettigrew Papers 287 

[Addressed] John H. Bryan esqr 
N. Carolina 

^Churchill Caldom Cambreleng (1786-1862) of New York City was born in 
Washington, North Carohna. A businessman, he served in the United States 
House of Representatives from 1821 to 1839 and later was minister to Russia. 
Biographical Directory of Congress, 651. 

^There were two Seminole Indian wars in Florida, in 1816-1818 and 1835- 
1842. The first resulted in the cession of East Florida by Spain to the United 
States. The second involved the removal of hostile Indian groups from the area. 
It has been called "the fiercest war waged against the American Indians." It 
cost 1500 lives and 20 million dollars. CDAH, 474; Encyclopedia Americana 
(1977 edition), XXIV, 540. 

Ehenezer Pettigrew to James Cathcart Johnston unc 

Washington Jan 30, 1836 

My dear friend, 

I received your favour of the 17th on the 26th and should have 
answered it on the following day as it made an enquiry on business 
but was too much indisposed. Today I am better. On the subject of 
your enquiry respecting M^ J. C[ollins ?] Uun^]. The property cannot 
be worth less than 50 thousand dollars, and I have not the least 
reason to think that it is incumbered by any acts of his and if not by 
him, no other, than his fathers life estate which he (the Father) will 
not I think relinquish in life. I think a debt of 10 thos^ cannot be 
better secured. I will however make one remark respecting the 
present and approaching state of the money market. The U.S. 
Bank is put down I think forever, and no other will rise on its ruins. 
In the room of that Bank a number of the States, (and all will follow 
the example) are chartering Banks, to an enormous amount, and I 
think for the want of that U.S.B. as a check, upon their issues, there 
will in less than five years be twice if not ten times the amount of 
Bank paper in circulation that was two years ago. In consequence 
of the averice of the stock holders of those enormous state banks; 
/&/ knowing the power that a U.S.B. would have to regulate them 
and bring them /with/in due bounds, there will be keept up a most 
violent and determined hostility, to such a monster. It will be to the 
interest of those stock holders in the state banks to keep up a hue & 
cry against anything of that sort by the nation, in as much as it 
would be so monstrous Big, and they will not be found wanting in 
dishonesty to blind the eyes of the multitude, and to make any 
misrepresentation, that would answer their purpose. O! tempora O! 
mores. I think we have now in the price of almost every article, an 

288 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

evidence of the increase of circulating medium, and I fear that we 
are only at the begining. I deplore it, and had rather pay my debt at 
$2. pr bbl. for corn than that, that should take place which I fear 
will, so great a derangement of our circulating medium 

For my opinion of the H.R. &c. I refer you to my former letter of 
the 15th My time is very much occupyed as you have been informed 
by that letter, but if it will possibly permit I shall be pleased to give 
you my ideas of men and things, though permit me to say that I 
cannot believe for a moment that /they/ are intitled to that 
confidence which you express. I hope they will however be given at 
all times with virtuous boldness. 

M'* [John Quincy] Adams' course since I entered this hall had 
disgusted and in truth displeased me very much with him so as to 
cut that acquaintance which I sought the first day of the session. 
You have no doubt seen the debate on his resolution to appoint a 
committee to enquire into the cause of the bill for the appropriation 
for Fortifications being lost /the/ last day of the last session. M'' A. 
followed the resolution with a violent speech of more than an hour 
in which he wished to say exceeding sevier things of members of 
the Senate, but was as often called to order, it being contrary to a 
rule that one branch of C. should make in debate personal allusion 
to the members of the other, but he remarked it had been said by a 
member else where that he would not vote for that bill if the enemy 
were at the /door of the/ Capital, 'and but one step more to join the 
enemy and batten down these walls'. The allusion was to M^ 
Webster. M^^ A, sits not far from me, and when he began to speek a 
great many members left their seats & stood near that they might 
hear. It was in vain that the speaker called to order & asked 
gentlemen to take their seats, but when that remark was made, I 
was thunder struck. There was not less that fifty claping of hands 
by the members. & I learned pr M^ Shepard from another quarter 
hissing. The speaker rose and called to order with great apparent 
indignation as well as other members remarking that they had 
never seen such disorder in that house before. My God! says I to 
myself, is this the calm deliberative body of the United states, is 
this the Congress the H.R. that in all probability /are/ to decide in 
a few weeks on the question of peace or war, with one of the most 
powerfull nations of Europe, in which there will be spilled oceans 
of human blood, & millions of treasure, will /be/ spent. Four days, 
and better have already been taken in speaking on the subject, one 
of them Mr Hardin^ of Keny. who is a man of good strong mind but 
not one degree removed from a savage, in which speech he handled 
M^ Adams roughly, but the speech made on the same side on 
thursday last by M^ E vans^ of Maine was a closer. M^ Evans is not 
middle aged yet but /is/ said to be one of the most talented men in 
the house. His argumentitive, calm manner, and equally so in his 

The Pettigrew Papers 289 

concluding and personal remarks to & of M^ Adams, touching on 
his vehemence, his desertion of his friends, &c &c &c disarmed all 
my resentment towards the poor old man (who set but a short 
distance from him and would now & then nod his head at the 
speaker) and I could with difficulty restrain my tears to see so great 
a man in information, & in the honours of his country, bring 
himself down to a seat in that house, and then enter into all sort of 
contests and lay himself liable deservedly to such a reprimand as I 
never before heard or thought of. Poor old man! he was always 
wrong, but I have no idea (& it is an opinion <only> /which I soon 
formed & which is/ strenghened by observation) but /that/ his 
mind has failed by age & to use my common expretion he is 
deranged; and I fear though never a good /man/ 1 feel exceedingly 
for him, I never can again feel dislike, I never will war with the 
dead. He rose on Saturday and made a few remarks as bitter & as 
venomous as a tiger hoping the previous question would not be put 
on his resolution without giving him an opportunity of answering 
some of those vials of wrath that had been poured upon him. He 
cannot answer that speech but if my vote will give it, he shall have 
the opportunity /if it but in satisfaction to an old man./. The old 
man quailed, and look wretched under that speech and I again 
repeat Poor old man, though all the truth, it would I thought make 
the most obdurate heart feel for him, but such is man I found many 
who did not. 

I shall be glad to give you my ideas of the men who are before the 
Union as leading men if my time will possibly pemit You see by my 
letter of the 15^^ that Congress hall & this crazy place could /not/ 
make me forget my friends whom I had left behind, but my dear 
friend legislation and judging legislators is very foreign from my 
occupation. My God! what vicissitudes there has been in various 
times of my life. For 27 years I was employed in matters of fact 
cuting down trees and diging ditches, in which there could be no 
deception For 4V2 years, I have been employed moving over the 
country without business, and as it were with home, and every 
place my home, a poor miserable mortal, and but for the firm hope 
/in/ another and a better world could not stay, wishing for nothing 
so much as total seclusion from the world. For the last year ending 
yesterday I have been entirely employed in words, hard at work 
with /or rather in/ words, and that now is my daily employ, and 
when it is to end god only knows. The first is the life which I should 
prefer and shall with my last breath deplore my being taken from 
it, but I am reconciled or /will/ try and make myself so to all the 
dispensations of providence. All this is not my seeking, though it 
may be my fait. I cannot but believe had I not been a misserable 
wicked sinner my Almighty Father would not have thus afflicted 
me, for I not only believe that he deprived me of all my comfort in 

290 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

this world that I might be brought to a sense of my duty towards 
him, but that my call to this place is a punishment for my sins, but 
pray let me stop this. I began this letter yesterday; when I had 
writen a page I was taken away and finish today. I had a sevier 
pain last evening in my great toe joint (which /is/ no more nor less 
than gout) and today I have been quite sick and barely able to 
finish this letter in time for the office, which I hope you /will/ 
excuse the interlineations &c of. Though I am now where the sole 
employ is letter writing, backing documents, and words, most of 
them without knowledge <are the> I am very deficient. My life has 
been spent in a more substanial way, a matter of fact business. I 
<shall be> would advise you to read those speeches on M^ A's 
resolution. I shall be glad to receive a letter from you, and also 
expect you at this place before the winter ends. All is snow here, 
about 12 since Christmas 

Please to make my best respects to the Ladies and assure 
yourself of sincere Esteem & regard of your friend 

E Pettigrew 

James C. Johnston esqr. 

[Addressed] James C. Johnston esqr 
North Carolina 

^Benjamin Hardin (1784-1852), a Kentucky attorney, had been a member of 
the legislature in that state. He served in Congress 1815-1817, 1819-1823, and 
1833-1837. Hardin was also secretary of state of Kentucky. Biographical 
Directory of Congress, 1005. 

^George Evans (1797-1867) was an attorney who served in the Maine state 
legislature. He sat in the United States House of Representatives from 1829 to 
1841 and in the Senate from 1841 to 1847. Later he was attorney general of 
Maine. Biographical Directory of Congress, 868. 

Ebenezer Pettigrew to William Shepard Pettigrew UNC 

Washington City Feb. 18, 1836 

My dear Son William 

I received your favour of Jan Sl^t about a fortnight after its date. 
I had been expecting to receive a line from you for some time, 
having had a great deal of anxiety with regard to your trip from 
Newbern to Chapel Hill in that inclement season and extreme bad 
weather for the season. I was also anxious to learn of the health of 
your brother Charles who had informed me that he was sick. But 
you did not mention the trip nor your Brother Charles' name and I 
have to presume. 

The Pettigrew Papers 291 

My son I was not a little surprised to read in your letter the 
expression of your being hard run for money, when I have been so 
liberal with you & your brother. Believe me each of you have had 
more money spent on you yearly than was ever spent on your 
father in all the education he had. If any fathers conscience is clear 
on the allowance and conduct to his sons your father is. I know 
/that/ you both know, that I tell the truth when I say that I have 
given you both more money at all times than you have said you 
could make out with, and I have sent you more money almost in 
every instance than you have writen for. Be assured if you ever 
have a family you will be assured of my liberal treatment of you 
both. Though now near two years ago I requested of you both to 
keep an account of your expenditures, it has not been done and I 
have passed it by without scarcly a word. My son what will be your 
pecuniary situation if the abolitionists can effect their object, a 
thing I very much apprehend will take place much sooner than 
people are aware of. My dear son you /have/ so far forgoten your 
fathers kindness to you that you neglected to acknowledge the two 
presents which he sent you by your brother Charles, and farther at 
the ending of your letter to acknowledge yourself as his son. I will 
give you the end of your letter. 'Brother Charles gave me <me> the 
sum which you directed him to deliver at his arrival & I likewise 
received the draft from M^^ Bryan, for both of which favours I feel 
very grateful' 

Will. S. Pettigrew 

I suppose I must submit to be forgoten but I hope that my God 
will not forget me and I pray God, which I never neglect to do in all 
my petitions, that he will not forget my dear children, the dear 
offspring of my dear ever dear wife & your most excellent Mother. 

I have been a good deal unwell with a complaint which I have 
been free from for a number of years, and for the last week the 
fullness of my head has been excessive so as to apprehend 
appoplexy. By the course which I have adopted I am some what 
relieved. This of all other places is the coldest and the most 
heartless. No one cares for the well, the sick, the dying, or the dead, 
and of all places & employments this is to me the most awful, and 
how I am to remain here 5 months longer I cannot think. The cold 
is intence and I have suffered with it very much, but as my life has 
been & is to continue on of trouble & slavery I forbare to complain. 

I received a letter about three weeks ago from M^ Davenport 
informing me that there were about 50 cases of small pox within 
five miles of Belgrade and some within a / a mile. I should have 
been there before this but there is no geting along for the ice, which 
is a foot thick, as soon as it is possible I shall go there my health 
permiting. If the disease should get among the negroes or should 

292 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

Mr Davenport take it, it will make small receits from the the 

My dear son Charles, I expected to have had another letter from 
you concerning your heath. You have been inquired for by a 
number, & I have been requested to give complements to you when 
I write. 

May God Almighty bless you my dear sons is the sincere prayer 
of your affectionate father 

E Pettigrew 
[Addressed] M^ William Shepard Pettigrew 
Chapel Hill 
Noth Carolina 

Ebenezer Pettigrew to William Shepard Pettigrew a&h 

Washington March 31, 1836 

My dear Son, 

On my return from visiting Scuppernong I found your favour of 
the 2nd inst. My dear William it gave me great pleasure, and in so 
many words, it was fully satisfactory on all points, and all I have to 
ask of my dear children is not to forget their only remaining 
parent, o. parent who has no words to express his affection & Love 
for his children, and who never forgets them for a day no not for an 
hour. I have been interrupted. Ap. 1 — 

I returned to this miserable place on the 18th after being gone 16 
days. It was with as much reluctance as if I was going to Jail. It is a 
place of great labour, and fatigue, and a miserable climate. The 
manner of life, the employment, and the climate is breaking down 
my health most rapidly, and if the next winter session should be as 
distressing as this has & promises to be my health will be gone. It is 
also such a species of slavery to the body and to my constituants, 
as you have no idea of & such as I pray God a son will have 
descretion enough, with the advice of his father founded on his 
experience, as never to get into. I hope my sons I am not to be heard 
for my much speaking, and I will have done. I sent you a Globe 
paper yesterday giving an account of Saturday nights work on the 
contested election with some remarks on the envelop, and will say 
nothing more. But depend upon it my son your father has got into 
the worst scrape he ever was in by accepting a seat in this rowdy 

When the house will break up is altogether uncertain. I shall vote 
for the earlyest day. Nothing has yet been done. 

When I got to Scuppernong the Small pox was in a mile of 
Belgrade but I learn that it has abated; the necessary steps were 

The Pettigrew Papers 293 

taken to prevent its geting to Belgrade & I hope it will not spread. 

It has been in Scuppernong an extreme wet winter and the Lake 
is full & running over in every direction. My shore is pretty safe but 
M^ Collins has & will suffer very much. M^^ C. was at the Lake a few 
days while I was the only time since November. My dear sons that 
will not do for interest. It was not the way your father made his 
estate and if he your father had not the best overseer, it would not 
be the way that he would keep it. M^ Davenport has done a great 
deal as much as I could do at any time. He has cleared this winter at 
Belgrade eighty acres of ground & it is ready to plant. 

I sowed the wheat this fall unusually thick, and though it has 
been a killing winter it is thick enough, and when I was there 
looked promising. I believe I sowed about 170. acres at both places. 
I think it promises a good price, in the summer. Corn is not as high 
as I expected, but it will rise. The hard winter upon animals has 
made a great use of corn never theless, I have a good quantity for 
sale, which I hope will keep on going & in two years pay my debt to 
Mr. J[ohnston]. I do not think my pay here will more than pay my 
expenses, which may seem strange to you. I mark every cent and 
shall be able to tell what has gone with it. 

With my benedection I will end. May God almighty Bless you my 
dear sons. 

E Pettigrew 

Write me often 

[Addressed] Mr William S. Pettigrew 
Chapel Hill 
North Carolina 

Peter Evans^ to Ehenezer Pettigrew unc 

Sparta April 4th 1836 

My Dear Sir: 

I have not had the pleasure of a personal interview, or to receve a 
letter from you since you were at my House in July. I should very 
much like to visit Washington — this spring if my business was not 
so urgent, as to require every moment of my time. — I can assure 
you— I was as much gratified at your success — , as you possibly 
could be: I hope & trust, it will be a lasting defeat. There can be no 
doubt, provided no exceptions can be taken to your votes — and — as 
far as I have examined them — they have been such, as I would 
have given in every case. I should go against the abolitionist in 
every shape & form: it is a vital question with the south — and it is 

294 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

down right impudence in those fellows, to meddle with us and our 
slaves: I should not be able to keep my temper on subject, when that 
question was agitated: — the south will have to form a confederacy 
& go against the north in all political & pecuniary matters this will 
be the most effectual way to bring those fellows to their senses. — 
The south ought to cut off all moneyed opperations, with the 
north; — we can soon bring them to terms in this way. — 

The south, is too much divided — to effect any great object But 
this will not be the case as soon as we can get clear of Gl Jackson: 
woe be unto his successor, if he attemps to pursue his course. — I 
think you must have a dry time of it, with those abolition 
petitions — it is enough to wear out the patience of a southern 
man — to witness the baseness of the Van Buren party in congress — 
they have sufferd severely in their feelings — if they have any; for 
the oposition have skewered them fore & aft. there certainly never 
was a more corrupt party in any Government. We are apt in every 
thing we try to learn — I am now of the opinion this very question, 
sooner or later, will be the cause of a separation of the states. — The 
south seems to be preparing for the event, these railroads will have 
a good effect in uniting the southern people together it will throw 
their Interest very much together & this is the way to keep the 
people united — I like to see those works going on in the south. — It is 
my opinion negro property will soon become of very little value — 
there will be the devil to play in the southern states in the course of 
two or three years — with the negroes — I feel very much like getting 
clear of mine this fall — I expect my son George to be in Washington 
in the course of a few days, on his way home — have taken the 
liberty to inclose a letter to him in this epistle to you Will you do me 
the favour to hand it to him on his arrival — and say to him I have 
requested you to caution him against falling into the company of 
the sons of the officers of the government & members of congress — 
who have nothing to do — but to spend money — foolishly & 
wastfully — I am told there are very many young men of this 
discription in your place — & George is not proof against temptation — 
He would take it kindly from you — His object in coming by is to see 
M^ Webster who has promised to receive him as a law student. I 
should be much gratified to hear from you — 

Yours very respectfully 
Peter Evans 
[Addressed] Honourable Ebenezer Pettigrew 
Washington City 

^ Peter Evans in 1829 was a partner in the Edgecombe Manufacturing 
Company, capitalized at 200 thousand dollars to manufacture cotton, flax, and 
hemp. Ashe, History of North Carolina, II, 317. For information on early cotton 
manufacturing in the state see Diffee W. Standard and Richard W. Griffin, 

The Pettigrew Papers 295 

"The Cotton Textile Industry in Ante-Bellum North CaroHna," North Carolina 
Historical Review, XXXIV (January, April, 1957), 15-35, 131-164, hereinafter 
cited as Standard and Griffin, "Cotton Textile Industry." 

David M. Sargent^ to Ebenezer Pettigrew^ a&h 

[Tillatoha, Mississippi, April 12, 1836] 

My Dear Friend 

I am at last, here, & partially settled. We had a tedious journey of 
about nine weeks. I could do nothing at the sale of public land at 
Pontotoc in Jany last. And I have, like many others, settled on land 
belonging to the U States. I however purchased some improvements 
a man had made upon it, who expects to <expects> obtain <to> a 
right by preemption & in that case is to convey to me when he will 
be entitled to an additional sum, or in case of no preemption law I 
shall have to purchase the public sales whenever it comes into 
market. It is on a gore of land lying between the Choctaw & 
Chickasaw nations of Indians & is in dispute by those tribes, it 
probably will not come into market before that dispute is settled, 
but should it be offered for sale this year I shall be greatly obliged if 
you will inform me of it as soon practicable. I have not settled on 
the most fertile lands to be found here, but I believe it to be very fine 
of the kind i.e. high rolling land — such I choose for a healthy 
situation. I am well pleased, in some respects with this place, it is 
the finest place for raising hogs I ever saw, Cattle do well, & it is a 
good Cotton & Corn country but it is not without its disadvantages 
& inconveniences and, judging from what I have seen, I will say, 
taking it as a whole (the north part of this State) it has been greatly 
overa<r>ted — there are large quantities of inferior land, some of 
which is mountainous, a great deal of is extreemly broken & much 
of it swampy, & the greatest part of it affords the worst of roads All 
ride on horseback here & I think they are doomed to do so untill 
great improvements are are made. There are, however, some tracts 
of very fine land The river bottoms are destined to become the most 
fertile & valuable land in the State if inundation does not prevent 
if, but they are bound to be sickly; there is an immence quantity of 
land or swamp of this descreption, between this place & the 
Mississippi River 

I have now traveled a long road & have seen som desirable 
plantations, or I should say many, but I have seen none that would 
bear any comparison with your splendid Plantation at Lake 
Phelps, nor yet with Bellgrade, such propperty would certainly be 
held in high estimation any where, but when situated on a 
navigable river within fifty miles of the Ocean & in a County 

296 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

affording the best roads in the Universe it ought, certainly to be 
held above all price 

I am entirely without papers or information of any kind, foreign 
or domestic, not having seen but two or three papers that were 
printed this year, I tho^ to have ordered my papers to be sent here 
but I found that the great irregularity of the mails would prevent 
my receiving many before I should leave for the eastward, & did 
not order them, I think, however now that I shall not return, that is, 
leave untill June. 

Please to inform /me/ if any thing unusual is going on and 
particularly, anthing relating to land matters where I am If it 
would not be too much trouble, be pleased to send me two or three 
papers that you have read. 

The 16th Section in Township 22 Range 1 West of the Meridian 
line, in the Choctaw nation will be offered for sale in June 
probably, or perhaps late in May under the following circum- 
stances, as I have understood them. In the first place all 16*^ 
Sections are reserved or allowed the State or county for some 
purpos, probably for Schools, the Trustees or propper authorities 
are going to sell this one pursueant to law /or/ orders, & some 
Speculator /has/ laid a Float or claim of a similar discreption upon 
it Will you be so kind as to ask the Attorney General or some other 
person possing informamtion to be depended upon, whether this 
sale will convey a good title? & inform me as soon as you 
conveniently can? This section said to be a very valuable one & it is 
expected to sell low 

It is understood here that the late edition of Floats are defeated (a 
good thing, if so,) but the one spoken of above, is probably of a 
former class 

With great respect Sir 

Your Obt Servant 
D M Sargent 

Hon E Pettigrew 

Tillatoba, Talahatchie County, Mississippi, April 12th i836. 

[Addressed] Honorable Eben^ Pettigrew 
Member of Congress 

•In 1830 David M. Sargent was a resident of Tyrrell County. 1830 Census 
Index, 164. 

^This letter is one of several in this volume that illustrate the westward 
movement during the 1830s. Census figures show that between 1830 and 1840 
the population of both Tyrrell and Washington counties declined. Cheney, 
North Carolina Government, 1290, 1304. 

The Pettigrew Papers 297 

Ebenezer Pettigrew to James Cathcart Johnston unc 

Washington City April 24, 1836 

My dear friend 

Your favor of the 8*^^ March came to hand in due time as well as 
yours of Ap 19th yesterday. In not answering yours of the 8^^ ult 
before this I should reproach myself and you might think me 
neglectfull of /a/ duty to my best friend, but for the reasons which 
follow. Shortly, the second day after my return I was taken sick, 
and though able to attend with the exception of a few days to the 
House, yet I continued to decline with that rapidity which brought 
me to think that without a change I was not much longer for this 
world. With my bad health, my spirits declined and were exceed- 
ingly depressed. Out of health & a spirit to do anything but the 
most imperious calls, I continued untill last week, by which time I 
found my room fast filling with all manner of trash, goten together 
for my constituents. I mean documents, speeches, newspapers, &c 
&c &c. The franking & directing of which is an excessive labour, 
when carried to /the/ extent which I am going. I paid the sum 
which I recived in your letter the day after I recived it and could 
have acknowleded it in so many words, but waited untill I should 
be able to say all that my capacity & time will allow. 

It is no joke. I really did think that time was about to end with me 
in this world. And blessed be God; I viewed it with all that 
composure with which I would a picture. That great enemy of 
human nature has lost all its terrors in my breast. I consider it no 
enemy of mine. I contemplate it with pleasure. I long to /be/ gone. 
For the sake of my dear dear children I regret that I do. But O! I so 
much desire for rest from this wicked world. I however will be 
resigned to the will of a kind & indulgent Providence. All is for the 
best, and I have found it so, after I have passed over it without a 
single exception. It is well that I am afflicted. God will do with me 
as he thinks best, and I should not have been here had it not been 
his will. After going home in March and remaining a few days, 
with what reluctance did I return to this place. I felt as if I would 
have given anything to have remained at my solitary but peacefull 
home, to have taken those lonely walks, to rest at the siting places, 
and whether walking or siting to be permited to contemplate in 
solitude the busy but happy hours & days gone, gone, gone, never 
to return. Fate has ordered otherwise and it must be right. Pray 
excuse this melancholy strain. It was not /in/ my power to stop 

You naturally would wish to know something about this place 
and the people that are in it, and though I think I know a great deal 
about them I know not where to begin. In the first place I doubt the 
political honesty of a large majority on both & all sides Ambition 

298 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

and all the bad passions /that man is heir to/ are <the> prevailing 
at this place to its highest degree, and how a government can 
stand, with such spirits in the ins and the outs, I cannot conceive. 
The abolition concerns, with the mean & contemptable looking 
Pinkney^ at their head seems to sleep and I think it doubtfull 
whether he will report this session, and if he does it will be a milk & 
water one. No such looking man can make any other. There was a 
memorial introduced the other day from Pensyvania asking of 
Congress to prohibit slavery in Arkansas before admission into 
the union. It knocked up a real brease, and only stoped by the hour 
coming for something else. It is highly probable there are a 
majority of Abolitionists in the house. I have no doubt, that if we do 
not fall to pieces from corruption too soon, the subject of slavery 
will dissove this union. I agree with you that the southerners have 
managed the matter badly, there has been no /general/ concert, 
every one acts in his own way and makes defence as he thinks best, 
while the opposition are a unit. That north & north western 
coolness will always govern this country, whether united or 
divided. I do not deserve the credit of your receiving My Preston 
speech I have not the Honour of an acquaintance with /that/ 
Gentleman. 2 The winter was so bad that I could visit but very little, 
if I had had time; withall I had not time, and since my return I have 
been a great part of the time too unwell, and aded to that it takes at 
least six introductions for most of / of the very great men to know 
small little ones. You know I am a retiring man. You would be 
astonished to see how persons here are influencd by party and 
what slight acts either way will produce a go by or a smile. These 
things have not the slighest effect on my mind. I assure you I am 
not under /the/ slightest mortification. I am perfectly indifferent 
to the movements of I may say all. If any feeling is produced, it is 
that of pity, to both sides. I feell most perfectly independant in my 
actions, and I cannot make a partisan. There has been not much 
done yet and I fear not much will be done. There is a strong effort 
making to use as much of the revenue as possible, and it is the 
/opinion that/ the surplus will not be disposed of this session. The 
Florida war is geting along badly & I understand the President 
complains very much of the management. 

I send you by this mail a Speech of Secretary Cass, a speech of 
Chilton Allen,^^ one of M^ Wise,^ and one of M^ Bell,^ the [torn] 
speaker of the house, and who I think is one of the most [^orn]tified 
men here. He is trying to work up hill, but it is do/u/btfull whether 
he will not go lower. He is thought to be one of the most talented 
men in the house but I see no influence of his. M^ Wise has lost a 
good of influence by violence. The two candidates for the Vice 
Presidency who are in our house, I think are poor creatures for 
great men, or to fill high & responsible stations. There seems to be 

The Pettigrew Papers 299 

no other opinion than that the election of President will go to the 
house of Representitives. 

My dear friend I expect to pay you four thousand dollars of the 
debt which I owe you, by the first day of September and you can 
make arraingments to that effect. 

Please to make my best respects to the Ladies and assure 
yourself of the Esteem of your friend 

E Pettigrew 

James C. Johnston esqr 

N.B. among other evils I am troubled with an affection of the eyes 
which prevents my writing or reading as much as I would. 
I inclose your Gales & Seatons receit. 

[Addressed] James C. Johnston esqr 
N. Carolina 

^Henry Laurens Pinckney (1794-1863), a South Carolina attorney and 
newspaper editor, served as a Democrat in the United States House of 
Representatives, 1833-1837. Biographical Directory of Congress, 1460. 

2This probably refers to William Campbell Preston (1794-1860) of South 
Carolina. A Calhoun nullifier, he was a lawyer and state legislator and sat in 
the United States Senate from 1833 to 1842. Biographical Directory of 
Congress, 1481. 

■^Chilton Allan (1786-1858) was a Democratic representative from Kentucky, 
1831-1837. Allan was also an attorney and a state legislator. Biographical 
Directory of Congress, 468. 

^ Henry Alexander Wise (1806-1876) of Virginia sat in Congress from 1833 to 
1844 and was at various times a Whig and a Democrat. Later governor of 
Virginia and a Confederate general, he was a "tactless and unduly aggressive" 
defender of southern rights. DAB, XX, 423-425; Biographical Directory of 
Congress, 1838. 

^John Bell (1797-1869) of Tennessee, a lawyer, was a Democrat and then a 
Whig. He sat in the House of Representatives, 1827-1841, and was Speaker, 
1834-1835. He later served as secretary of war and as a United States senator 
from 1847 to 1859. The Constitutional Union party candidate for president in 
1860, Bell was defeated by Abraham Lincoln. Biographical Directory of 
Congress, 539. 

Ehenezer Pettigrew to John Herritage Bryan a&h, bryan 

H.R. April 27, 1836 

My dear Sir, 

I received your favour of Ap 20, yesterday and with great regret 
learned of the indisposition of our Mother [Mary Blount Shepard]. 
I should suppose that a trip to the Virginia Springs would be a 

300 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

much better visit for her health than the north. In her bad health 
she will find the bustle of a northern tour very disagreeable, and I 
fear disgusting. 

My health has been very bad and I had some doubts whether my 
time was not coming, but disease has left me & I now have health 
enough to attend to my duties & to be in comfort. In consequence of 
my bad health my documents &c &c had accumulated to such an 
extent as to keep me at extreme close & hard work, the hardest I 
have had in ten years. I am sometimes so tired of this place as to be 
almost fit to take French leave, but Fate has placed me here and I 
will not complain. I hope that the character I shall be able to give to 
public life will prevent my sons from ever permiting themselves 
from being put into such a difficulty in time to come, which I pray 
God to guard them from. 

I am very glad to learn that the Phelps affair is closed, and am 
much obliged for the part which you have taken. I am not fit to 
undertake the business of any but my own. 

All kinds of provisions are alike high at this place. I know 
nothing here is not high unless it might be wives, who, from the 
number candidates I would think cheap. But thank God I am only 
a listener and & looker on, on that subject as well as with the wine 
& strong drink. I take a small quantity of stimulant each day, but 
am perfectly disgusted with excess. I have in truth come very 
nearly down to my Lake babbits, in eating, drinking & visiting. I 
am not wanting in attention to my business, and am as content in 
my room as elsewhere. 

Party runs high and I frequenty observe frowns or smiles 
according to my votes, but they are all alike to me. I can not make a 
partizan. I can do no other than act under my best conviction. I am 
not dependent on any one for anything here as long as Uncle Sam 
honours my drafts. I see plainly that I shall alway be the same 
thing. The Globe of today has pronounced me a White man & a 
nullifier.^ If the party could establish me the latter in my district a 
reelection would be over, a thing very desirable to them I suppose, 
but God knows that if I have a wish in the world greater than 
another it is to end my Congretional life on the 4 March 1837, and I 
could assure the corrupt Globe that he may withold his lies from me 
& keep them /for/ other objects. The poor corrupt wretch has not 
yet produced any excitement in my breast. I am rejoiced at your 
report of my dear little daughters health & improvement, if it is 
possible to increase my feelings of affection & love for those dear 
representives of my dear ever dear Nancy I know that it will be. I 
sent Mary 2 little spoons envoloped in a document [per] her Uncle 
Charles which I suppose was miscarryed. I will bring her some 
when I come. 

The Pettigrew Papers 301 

Please to give my kind & affectionate regard to sister Mary & all 
my friends in your town, and believe me to be sincerely your friend 
& relation 

E Pettigrew 

John H. Bryan esq^" 

I will quit as I am writing under the voice of Eli More the Fanny 
Wright member from New York^ on the subject or in favor of the 
labouring class in New York. If it /is/ in the papers I will send it to 

[Addressed] John H. Bryan esqr 
N. Carolina 

^An article on the third page of the Globe (Washington, D.C.), April 28, 1836, 
lists Ebenezer Pettigrew among supporters of Hugh Lawson White and also as 
a nullifier. 

^Ely Moore (1798-1861) was a representative who served in Congress as a 
Democrat from 1835 to 1839. He studied medicine and edited a newspaper prior 
to his election. Biographical Directory of Congress, 1350. 

To call him the "Fanny Wright member" was to label him radical. Frances 
(Fanny) Wright (1795-1852) was a free thinker and a social reformer. CDAB, 

John Herritage Bryan to Ebenezer Pettigrew a&h 

New Bern May 23. 1836— 

My dear Sir, 

We have not heard from you for some weeks, but I suppose you 
are now very much occupied with the business of the House. 

Our [diocesan] convention was but thinly attended owing to the 
rumor of the small pox and bad weather. — We had at our house 
however M^" Davis of Wilmington & M^ E L Winslow of Fayetteville, 
with his mother & a Miss King.— 

Mary Pettigrew & Nancy are very well Johnston has been sick 
again & D^" Boyd had to give him calomel— he is up again, but looks 
badly. — Charles Pettigrew is expected I believe in the next stage. — 
M^s Shepard's health is very feeble, she expects to leave here on her 
journey tomorrow week; she will probably spend a week in 
Pasquotank— I think it is probable that she will go to the Fauquir 
Springs, where she is very desirous that M^^ Bryan should join her, 
as soon as she can conveniently leave home^but whether that will 
ever be is doubtful.— I should be very willing & desirous that M^s B. 
should take a little trip — for she needs it & is anxious to do so — but 

302 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

what to do with all the children is the question. — If she does go, it 
would probably be the middle or last of June, before she could leave 

I returned from Wayne C[ounty]. Court the other day & learned 
that a negro boy of yours by the name of Jess had been seen about 
here, & next morning I spoke to an officer to have him taken — but 
he has not yet caught him. — 

We have had another case of small pox — it occurred on Friday or 
Saturday. — 

M^s Bryan desires to be affectionately remembered by you 

Very truly 
Yr friend relative 
Jn. H. Bryan 
[Addressed] The Hon. E. Pettigrew 

Washington City 

Ehenezer Pettigrew to John Herritage Bryan a&h, bryan 

H.R. June 17, 1836. 

My dear Sir, 

Your favours of May 23, & June 6th came safe to hand. The letter 
to Slye or Hall was given a safe conveyance by one of the clerks. 

I regret exceedingly, in truth it was with great sorrow that I 
learned that it was apprehended, your little Octavia has choria. I 
most sincerly hope it will be found not so. I never think of the 
disease without shuddering and my soul sinks within me, and how 
many hours have I spent thinking or fearing that some one of my 
dear younger children might take the disease. 

I am very much obliged by your attention to my business. Demps 
is a durty dog & I should not care if he was to die. 

The house has at last come to the determination to quit or scatter 
on the 4th July and no one is more rejoyced at the emancipation 
from this body of sin &c, &c, &c &c, &c &c than I am. My energy is 
entirely paralised, and though fatter & in <in> good health to all 
appearances yet without strength to put on my cloths with/out/ 
resting, and the mind as much affeced as the body. The Lord have 
mercy on the poor wretch who is condemned to spend his time here. 
I had almost as lieve go with /a/ son to his grave as to see him in 
my situation. 

You will see by the papers that we had a continued session of 25 
hours, in which there was some sharp words between M^" Bynum & 

The Pettigrew Papers 303 

M^ Jennefer of Maryland, which enventuatd in a duell on tuesday 
morning last.^ Six shot was exchanged without effect and they 
shook hands and quit. 

I shall be very much pleased to learn of Sister Mary taking a trip 
to some of the watering places hoping it might give health & some 
little recreation & relaxation from the constant scene at Newbern 
and should be much pleased that Mary Pettigrew could go, but I 
fear that she will be too many when she takes those other children 
that ought to go. 

I could wish to know whether my note in the bank of Newbern 
could be renewed or whether it would be expected to be paid up. My 
reasons are simply these for the questions. My first cargo of com 
was shipped to New York & sold on a credit. The proceeds will be 
due on the ll^h of August. The next cargo was ordered to Boston & 
to be sold for cash. The head winds delayed the vessil so long at sea 
that it was thought by the Captain prudent after having the cargo 
in 20 days to run into New York, and there the cargo was found to 
be hot & in such a state as to make it necessary that it should be 
stored, and consequently nothing can be realised from it yet. The 
remain/in/g corn I have direted not to be shipped untill my return, 
also my wheat, which (though the likelyest crop I have had for 
years) I am informed by my overseer has been very much injured 
by the 15 days rain at the very time when wheat wants none. The 
partial but much more total destruction of the wheat crop as far as I 
have heard from all parts of country which information is 
extensive has given every reason to suppose that wheat will be 
high when that information is realised, and I am hesitating 
whether I will /not/ hold my wheat over to the spring It must pay 
good interest, if I am not more mistaken than I ever was. 

M^s Shepard & James have not made their appearance here yet. 
It is probable that will take place some time in next week. William 
Shepard says he is tired out, and would be crazy in month more at 
this miserable place. Please to tell Mary Pettigrew that I sent her & 
her sister Mary [sic] some songs two or three months ago. I have 
also sent a number of documents to you & brother Charles & have 
had some anxiety to know whether they were received. 

I shall be pleased to receive a letter in answer to this as soon as 
convenient, which you will please to direct to Cool Spring No. Ca. 

With affectionate regards to Sister Mary & the dear children 
Please to assure yourself of my 

sincere esteem & Regard 
E Pettigrew 

John H. [Bry]an esq 

[Addressed] John H. Bryan esqr 
North Carolina 

304 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

'Jesse Atherton Bynum was challenged to a duel by Daniel Jenifer. After the 
opponents fired six shots each with "no harm done" the duel concluded. New 
Bern Spectator, June 24, 1836. 

Bynum (1797-1868) served in Congress from North Carolina as a Democrat, 
1833-1841. He later moved to Louisiana. Biographical Directory of Congress, 
642. Bynum was once called "that nuisance in the political world . . . turbulent 
and unbridled." Moore, History of North Carolina, I, 490. 

Jenifer (1791-1855) served as a National Republican representative from 
Maryland, 1831-1833 and lS3b-l84l. Biographical Directory of Congress, 1119. 

Richard S. Sims^ to William Shepard Pettigrew UNC 
Union College N. York July 22nd 1836— 

Dear William. 

Since now we are separated, and no longer permitted to enjoy, 
within the precincts of the same Alma mater, that deep flow of 
soul — that sweet communion of congenial feeling, which has 
heretofore characterised our intercourse, and rendered hallowed a 
thousand scenes of undying recollection, I know of no better means 
than the pen and the post office afford, to repair, even in a slight 
degree, the regretted but necessary eruption of that enjoyment. We 
have a great variety of character exhibitted in college out of so 
large a number of students. There are some here who write poetry, 
wear whiskers and swear fluently, and on every afternoon of a fair 
day may be seen walking the streets of Schenectady, puffing away 
at the butt end of a Spanish segar, and talking wisely of the 
politicks of the day. There is also another portion, the summit of 
whose ambition is to stand at the head of the merit roll; and 
therefore use all means fair and foul to accomplish the object of 
their wishes. Again there is a third order, who are excited to high 
and noble exertions not by present distinctions or college honours— 
You could scarcely offer them a more direct insult, than to spread 
out before them such paltry motives. They cast their eyes forward, 
and gather motives from the future; have referen/ce/ to the high 
and glorious rewards of a useful life, which meet their view on the 
one hand, and the disgrace of a mind grovelling in ignorance and 
darkness which presents itself on the other. They know well that 
the petty distinctions and honours of college, are the glittering toys 
which are held up for the purpose of coaxing a few grown up 
children to study their lessons, and whose little minds are incapable 
of appreciating the force of nobler and loftier motives. They admire 
the honour and dignity of that student, who, trampling with scorn 
on all these little distinctions, explores the depths of science from a 
relish of its beauties; who acts from the deep conviction, that his 
mightiest efforts are necessary for success, and that glory has 
woven her choicest garland for the brow of him who gives up the 

The Pettigrew Papers 305 

golden years of his existence, to the pursuit of Hterature. Such men 
as these are destined to be ornaments of society, and to be 
remembered with gratitude, when the whole tribe of college wits 
shall have vanished like the insects of a day. You mentioned in 
your last that Wilder was sadly disappointed in his expectation of 
being elected representative. This exactly illustrates a rule W"^ S — 
we have often talked over together and applied to the different 
characters in college Viz. that plans may be formed and great 
diligence employed to put them in exicution — but unless the 
foundations of exertion be laid in honourable and noble motives, 
all the superstructures will fall and crumble into dust, and like "the 
baseless fabrick of a vision leave scarce a wreck behind." Com- 
mencement will be here on the 27^^ of this month, after which we 
shall have a vacation of six weeks. We are expecting a fine time at 
commencement as there will probably be two or three hundred 
ladies up from N. York & Albany, and some from Saratoga Springs 
besides those that reside in Schenectady. I expect to remain here 
and at Saratoga Springs together during the vacation, as the 
distance is too great for me to think of going home. I want you to 
answer this letter as soon as convenient after you receive it, and 
write me all the news about your commencement and also the 
report of the several classes. 

My respects to all enquiring friends. 

I am with the greatest respect and esteem 

your sincere friend and humble Servant. 

Richard S. Sims 
[Addressed] Mr. William S. Pettigrew 
Chapel Hill 
North Carolina 

^Richard S. Sims may be the student named Sims mentioned in Charles 
Lockhart Pettigrew to William Shepard Pettigrew, January 1, 1834, in this 
volume. Possibly he attended Hillsborough Academy with William Shepard 

James Alfred Pearce^ to Ehenezer Pettigrew a&h 

Chestertown [Maryland] Augs 2^ 1836 

My Dear Sir, 

<Wh> I do not know that I gave you any intimation of my 
intention to inflict a letter upon you, occasionally; but I have 
persuaded myself, that you will not be sorry to hear from me. It was 
impossible for me to part from a mess, with whom I have been so 
pleasurably associated for seven months, without feelings of 
regret; or to avoid recurring, frequently, to the recollection of them. 

306 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

You will not, I am sure, suspect me of any affectation when I say 
that, besides this, a desire to give you some evidence of the regard, 
which our familiar intercourse for so long a <period> session has 
ripened into the most sincere esteem, prompts me to interrupt your 
quiet at Lake Phelps. If this be not a good reason to give, it is the 
only one; for there is nothing else on which I could build up a letter 
at present. In my retired way of life there is nothing happening of 
any interest to persons at a distance — scandal is plenty; but that 
we ought to leave to the ladies tea table, where they say there is a 
prescriptive right for that sort of talk: and a discourse upon 
politicks, unless very unlike most of those we heard last winter, you 
would probably postpone for a dose of epecachuana. If I were to 
indulge in the strain most congenial to my present mood, I should 
give you a fit of the blues, for I am well nigh hipped myself. My 
family are almost all sick. My Aunt has had a hemorrhage of the 
lungs. — My cousin, a young man living with me, has been laid up 
by a rheumatic affection M^^s Pearce is unwell a I am grumpy 
myself. My little daughter is the only one of the family not out of 
sorts. — But these are only temporary evils, which a little cupping 
and bleeding, a sulphur bath, and a dose of rhubarb may cure. But 
the consumption of the purse which afflicts the most of my fellow 
citizens what shall cure? — I am satisfied that the county in which I 
reside will not yield wheat enough for the fall sowing — The hard 
winter, the fly, and then the scab have ruined all our crops — The 
best farms will not yield 3 for 1 ; and in many instances, within my 
knowledge, the crops have not given V2 a bushel for one. It is even 
worse with the rye growers, and the corn promises no better. The 
long rains in May and June, followed by a drought of nearly six 
weeks duration, and [illegible] is not yet terminated, have scalded 
and burnt the growing corn, so that many farmers will not make 
more than enough for their own consumption. These are our only 
staples, and when they all fail, general embarrassment must 
ensue — a French traveller, Volney,^ I think, predicted that this 
country, in the course of time, would become liable to famine, and 
great earthquakes. This prediction seems likely to be verified in 
part, and if the sins of the people and the Government recieve an 
exact retribution, I do not know that we shall not have the whole 
prophecy fulfilled. — 

I found my professional business gave me a great deal of trouble 
when I returned to my office. It was up hill work, and now I am 
impatient to get off on my western trip. Perhaps I may reach our 
frontier states, in time to see old Granny Gaines, ^ and the 
Mexicans clapper claw one another. [H]is march to Nacogdoches is 
a most extraordinary and improper step, prompted by no other 
motive, whatever may be professed, but a disposition to assist the 

I have very little respect for the Mexican character, and I abhor 
the conduct of their commanders, in massacreing their prisoners; 

The Pettigrew Papers 307 

but as between Mexico and the US good faith ought to be 
preserved, in spite of our sympathies. 

Our treaty stipulations have not been enforced as they should have 
been — the violation of them has been winked at, and now, I 
suppose, we are about to interfere openly. 

This "infamous thirst of gold" is the well spring of all Texian 
patriotism, and of the most of our sympathy. It is a vile world, and 
wags wickedly — 

Present me to your son if he be with you — M^^s Pearce desires me 
to present her kindest regard to you — For myself, accept the 
assurance of the 

sincere esteem with which I am y^^ 
Jas Alfred Pearce 
[Addressed] For. 

The. Honble. E. Pettigrew 


Coole Spring 

Washington Cy 

N. Carolina 

iJames Alfred Pearce (1805-1862), a Whig, served in the House of 
Representatives from Maryland, 1835-1843, and then in the United States 
Senate, 1843-1862. He was a rhan of broad cultural interests who formed "warm 
and deep friendships." DAB, XIV, 352-353. 

^Constantin Francois de Chasseboeuf, Comte de Volney (1757-1820), was a 
French scholar who wrote about his travels. Webster's Biographical Dictionary, 

•^Pearce might refer to Edmund Pendleton Gaines (1777-1849), who had 
participated in various Indian wars and was commander of the western 
department of the army. CDAB, 323. 

Receipt for Bill Paid to New Bern Jailer unc 

[August 5, 1836] 

Mr E Petegrew 

1836 To David Lewis Dr 

June 7 for 20 Days Jail fees of Negro Man Gi[illegible] @ 4/$8.00 

Blankets 20 days @ 2V2 pr day .50 

Reward for Apprehending him 10.00 

Receieving and Discharging 6/ .60 

Reed payment Augt S^h 1836 

David Lewis 

308 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

Charles Lockhart Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew UNC 

New York August 9th i836 

Dear Father 

I am now about to leave this place to proceed up the Hudson 
river, and write you some thing with respect to my future plans. I 
shall go to Niagara and then down lake Ontario and the S^ 
Lawrence to Montreal, I shall also visit Boston. I arrived in 
Philadelphia on Saturday about 2 Oclock after I left Plymouth. I 
remained there a day and made some inquires about Grandma — 
fortunately as soon as landed and went to the Mansion House I met 
Joe. S. Jones who gave me some information as to where Grandma 
boarded: I called there and found that she had left the city about a 
week since for Newport. I immediately repaired to New York at 
which I am at present but shall leave in the morning I have 
concluded not to go to New Haven. I was much astonished to find 
that captain Dunbar had come into port, I saw him at M^^ Bryan's 
office: he says that as soon as he got out of the bar the winds began 
to blow from the south he therefore could not proceed and moreover 
he had heard from vessels immediately from that port that corn 
was /very low/ he then determined to go to Providence, but after he 
he had proceeded a days voyage the wi/n/de came round to the 
north <again> again and looked as if it would stay there at least a 
week, to proceed was impossible so he concluded that he would try 
to get to <Boston> the south. He there went back untill he came to 
the bar when to his astonishment the wind changed again. He at 
length /reached/ this port on Friday last. The corn sold for 96 cts 
and on the same morning M^^ Bryan got a letter from [John] 
Williams^ Charleston saying that corn was worth from 68 to 82 cts. 
Capt Dunbar attributes the fall of corn in Charleston to the fact 
that the northerly wind carried so many vessels there. I have not 
been able to assertain the price of corn in Providence. I have 
bought me a watch and key for $145 a very nice one indeed; I shall 
<endeavour>, dear father, <to> keep it as a memento of /your/ 
affection, and always endeavour to act worthy of that affection. I 
have also bought some cloths. I drew upon Mr Bryan for $[4]00,00 
which I think will be sufficient. I will write you again <this> soon 

Your affectionate son 
Charles L Pettigrew 

Mr & Mrs Collins are here and quite well I dined with them at M^s 
Riggs' to day. 

Capt Dunbar will take home all the articles except the negro 
/cloth/ which may be delay<ed> because M^^ Bryan says he is 
expecting a very superior article. The axes come as near as they 
could be got, I went with M'' Bryan to look for them and these were 

The Pettigrew Papers 309 

the best that could be found, the axes were all too light about 5V4 
and 5y2: these are from 6 to 7 pounds each 

[Addressed] Hon E. Pettigrew 
Cool Spring 
Washington Co 
N. Ca. 

^John Williams, apparently a native of Baltimore, was a commission 
merchant in Charleston, South Carolina, who marketed Ebenezer Pettigrew's 
corn to nearby rice planters and retailers. He seems not to have sold goods to 
Pettigrew but to have deposited his credit as directed to other agents, several 
times to banks in Baltimore. 

Charles Lockhart Pettigrew 
to William Shepard Pettigrew unc 

Niagara falls Aug 20th 1836 

Dear brother 

You will perceive from the head of my letter that I have at length 
arrived at the far-famed falls of Niagara — the wonder of the world; 
and I must tell you that I am highly gratified; so far from being 
disappointed I think that they are worth a journey from North 
Carolina, and that the man who has never seen them has some 
thing in reserve which will one day afford him the greatest 

I was at Saratoga a few days observing the forms and fassions of 
the day; their were there about 2,000 people and they of all sorts 
and descriptions; every one seemed disposed to exhibit <th> him 
or her self to the best advantage; only a few invalids were there I 
suppose it was too gay; for each week there were 3 balls and 3 hops 
(perhaps you dont under stand that word it means an<d> inferior 
ball) so that Sunday was the only night in the 7 that all was quiet. 
We had music at our meals; A band was engaged by 3 of the public 
houses which staid at each of the houses two days in the week and 
played when ever it was wanted. 

I saw Dick Simms <as> when I passed through Schenectady for 
Saratoga; he seemed very glad to see me. I took him by supprise I 
arrived at Schenectady at night and went early next morning to see 
him, when I got to his boarding house I went to his room and /he/ 
was in bed and was only a woke by the noise at his door, he is very 
well pleased with /his/ situation. I bought me a fine gold watch in 
New-York for $145. I am very tired walking about the falls and 
climbing the banks of the river which are very high and steep. You 
must excuse the short ness of this letter for I know you expect a 

310 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

longer one but it is the only time that I /have/ touched pen /to 
paper/ except when I wrote to father from New- York, and mj^ hand 
is so unsteady I can hardly write. I will write again soon. You can 
direct your letter to Boston if you will write sufficiently early for 
your letter to get there by the 1st of Oct at which time I leave that 
place. I go<t> to Montreal to morrow then to Quebec thence to 
Burlington thence to Boston. I am on the British side of the falls in 
Canada —- 

Your affectionate brother 
Charles L Pettigrew 

Charles Lockhart Pettigrew to Ehenezer Pettigrew UNC 

Quebec Sept 5th i836 

Dear Father 

I have at length arrived at this place from which I shall make the 
best of my way home: it begins to be a little cold here, and indeed it 
ought to be <a>so far North; <a> there have been several frosts 
although I believe none of them very severe. I wrote you from 
Niagara falls, which I left the day after the date of my letter; I came 
down the lake in a very pleasant boat, I stoped a night at Toronto 
the capital of Upper Canada and the residence of the governor of 
that province; fortunately for myself the lake was very very 
smooth the day and night that I was in it, there was scarcely a 
wave to be seen, so that I was not the least sick, I was also very 
comfortably situated in my passage down the river St Lawrence, 
the scenery on this river is remarkably beautiful and attractive. I 
was very much disappointed in Montreal, the streets are narrow 
and verry dirty It is indeed not worth going to see except to gratify 
one's curiosity I found, when I reached Montreal that uncle 
Frederick and his lady had left that place only two days on their 
way home, also general Bl[o]unt & his family left at the same time. 
From Montreal I proceeded immediately to Quebec and arrived 
here on <Saturday> Sunday night week. I will relate to you a little 
circumstance which perhaps may may be /as/ amusing to you as it 
was fortunate to myself. As I was coming from Montreal to this 
place I was conversing with a gentleman and in the course of my 
remarks to told him that I saw in one of the papers that Graham^ 
had been returned to Congress by a majority of about 1,000, he 
went away and brought up another gentleman who asked me was I 
very certain of that, I told him I was and gave him my authority 
and moreover <tho> told him that it was more than probable that 
the whole state would go against the little magician; We of course 

The Pettigrew Papers 311 

entered into /an/ argument with respect to the merits of the 
respective candidates, and I gave him my reasons for not prefering 
Mr Van Buren and what I thought of the party at <w>Washington; 
I would assert such and such things upon the authority of the 
papers and he would deny saying that he was there at the time; he 
finally told me that he was a member of Congress and knew what 
he said to be so. I was perfectly astonished and asked his pardon 
for being so positive as I would not put my knowled[^e] of the 
political state of the country in comparason to his since it was his 
duty to study it. We became acquainted and he treated me very 
politely while he remained and introduced me to several of his 
relations and acquaintances in Quebec. So that I feel very <gratefu> 
grateful to him for his politeness. His name is Dudley Farlin^ /of 
New York/; he is a complete Jackson Van Buren man but I believe 
sincere in his choice of a president. 

I met with <w>a young gentleman, who is taking the Northern 
tour, having been but a short time from France; he intends also 
next spring visiting most of the towns /in the South west/ but will 
spend the winter in some part of the United States. We became 
acquainted </ with him/> at Quebec and he, wishing to get a more 
thorough knowledge of our language than he has, intends spending 
the winter with some person who can speak it well; he speaks 
French well and fluently having been educated in France. He 
offers to teach me the language if I will but allow him to reside with 
me in order that he may from hearing me speak, improve himself in 
English. I myself much approve of the measure as it will be my 
only opportunity of leaning a tongue /with/ which most educated 
persons are now acquainte[d.] It will [n]ot prevent me from 
attending to my business as I can devot[e] the eve[nings] after I 
return to the house to that study; they are very long and we[ll] 
afford ample time: The presence of this gentleman will be no 
inconvenience to <me as> you as you will be at Washington. I 
informed him that I would let him know at Norfolk wither my 
engagements would permit me to learn the language at that time. I 
shall dear father make my arrangements so as to reach that place 
by the IS^h Oct I shall there-fore expect an answer from you on that 
subject at that place I submit to your better judgement altho I hope 
it m/a/y approve of my wishes, for I can assure you it shall not 
interupt my business. I am very anxious father to hear from you to 
know how you are and whether you have escaped the fall diseases. 
I hope I shall find a letter in the Boston post office when I reach 
that place. I wish very much to hear from home and my relations. 
Give my respects to M^ & Mrs Davenport and M^ Brickhouse 

Your affetionate son 
Charles L Pettigrew 

312 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

I wish the 20*^^ Oct to come quickly 

I leave /in/ a day or two for Boston and shall carry my letter and 
have it mailed there as I shall have to pay the British government 
and it may be delayed if I put it in here 

[Addressed] Hon. E. Pettigrew 
Washington Co. 
North Carolina. 

^James Graham (1793-1851), a Whig, was an attorney in Rutherford County 
who had sat in the state legislature and in the United States House of 
Representatives, 1833-1835. His election to the Twenty-fourth Congress was 
contested by David Newlands and a new election was held. Charles Pettigrew's 
letter refers to this election. Graham subsequently served until 1843 and again 
in 1845-1847 . Biographical Directory of Congress, 964; Cheney , North Carolina 
Government, 745. 

^Dudley Farlin (1777-1837), a Democrat, had been a presidential elector on 
the Jackson-Van Buren ticket in 1832 and served in Congress, 1835-1837. 
Biographical Directory of Congress, 875. 

Peter Evans to Ehenezer Pettigrew a&h 

Sparta Sept^ 6th i836 
Ehenezer Pettigrew Esq^: 

My Dear Sir: 

I am at present, on a short visit to this place & have some leisure 
moments, that I can spare to the addressing of you a few lines. — I 
will here tender you my many thanks for your attention to me, in 
forwarding me, so many valuable documents. — I find some of them 
very interesting, on many subjects that concerns the planters. — 

You must have had a tiresome session of it — and I expect there 
never has been one, better calculated to disgust a man of your nice 
feelings — But, let me tell you; the bubble is bursted & we shall not 
have the like again soon — those base scroundrels — have been told 
their own so well, by [Wise], and others; and there is now a split in 
the [pa]rty — So the people can have time to pause & see what has 
been done by their public agents — & the old chief, will soon lose his 
influence & without that phantom they will not be able to move an 
inch. — as was anticipated by all of the thinking whigs — you now 
see, when it is left to Van Buran, He will go to the walls — He has no 
claims upon the earth — or the people, for any favour: He has never 
studied their interest in a single act of his life: his whole life has 
been made up on taking care of himself, at the expense of friends & 

The Pettigrew Papers 313 

foes; and it is the most astonishing thing to me, that any southern 
man, can for a moment — think of supporting such a man: every act 
of his Hfe has been against Southern interest — I now am firmly of 
the beUef, he has no chance of reaching the presidency: — Virginia 
will profit from the late course of NC. & I hope will decide against 
him & if she does, his fate is sealed. I feel sorry to hear you express 
so much dislike to your situation in Congress, and hope you will 
not think of declining tendering your services to the district, untill 
we can get some man to take your place that can carry the vote of 
the district against such a base party — for I do not believe there 
ever was a baser party, formed in any civilized government. — is it 
not strange /that/ the people have suffered them to go to such 
lengths: the party, would not have given up the surplus [revenue] — 
But, from pure fear of their constituants; the people began to speak 
a language, that they could not misunderstand — & they became 
alarmed: it did not proceed from honesty. — they know after Genl 
Jackson, retired — they could not sustain themselves under Van 
Buren— & those that had some regard for honesty, were afraid to 
continue in that course any longer. — Their conduct was so 
[illegible]ahly exposed by the whig party — that they became 
alarmed — & turned: for base men, are always cowardly. I never 
have known a party to receve such a drubbing; & old Jackson will 
make my words true; that he [would] ruin the government & go out 
disgraced: — see the course, he is pursuing in Tennessee; what a 
Humilleating reflection it is, to see such a man engaged in such 
dishonourable business — & how severely he will feel the effects of 
such conduct, when he retires into private life — and can hear & feel 
what the people think of his administration, you must not think of 
giving up the ship yet, & let me advise you, not to express you 
disgust too freely to every body — your enemies will use it against 
you — as the people will not hear any thing like a slight: they 
cannot bear to hear, their agents, complain — of their situation: — 
they think there is no man but ought to think himself — highly 
honoured, to be placed in your situation — according to my 
judgment, I think your course, has been entirely unexceptionable — 
& if you do not injure your self — by using thoughtless expressions — 
you will have but little trouble to keep down any man they can 
start — I have never heard of any of the party, taking any exceptions 
to any of your votes on any thing you have done — whilest in 
Congress — and you owe it to your self, to your district & to your 
country, to hold on untill some suitable person can be fixed on to 
take your place; and this cannot be done for these 3 years to come. 
They speak of running [illegible] Wilson;^ He is their best chance, 
& you will beat him, at least, 1000 votes — and after he is put 
down — the party will separate & we then can have matters 
arranged to suit our views — 

314 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

I would like very much for you to visit me at Egypt in Chatham 
County. I can only promise you a plenty to eat, & the sight of a 
pretty farm — with a good crop on it — It is a healthy section of the 
state — & if you can spare the time — you had as well come up & visit 
as you will see many of your [illegible] who will be glad to see 
you — & at Pittsbo — you can spend some time very pleasantly — 
there is good society in that place in the summer. If you cannot 
come up, write me — & let me hear how your crops are in Tyrrell & 
Washington — we shall not make more than half the corn we did 
last year in this county & the cotton, do not promise much more 
than the corn — should it be an early fall — we shall not make half 
cotton crop, — direct your letters to — Haywood Chatham County. — 

very sincerely & truly 
your obt svt 
Peter Evans 
[Addressed] To the Honourable 
Ebenezer Pettigrew 
Cool Spring Post office 
Washington County NC 

^The candidate was a prominent Democrat, Louis D. Wilson (1789-1847) of 
Edgecombe County. A longtime member of the General Assembly who sat in 
the Constitutional Convention of 1835, Wilson later died of disease while 
serving as an officer in the Mexican War. Alan D. Watson, Edgecombe County: 
A Brief History (Raleigh: Division of Archives and History, Department of 
Cultural Resources, 1979), 33-35; R. D. W. Connor, North Carolina: Rebuilding 
an Ancient Commonwealth, 1584-1925 (1929; reprint edition, Spartanburg, 
South Carolina: Reprint Company, 2 volumes, 1973), I, 571-572. 

Charles Lockhart Pettigrew 
to William Shepard Pettigrew unc 

Lake Phelps Oct 26th 1836 

Dear brother 

I have at length arrived home and glad to have a quiet rest from 
travel: there is nothing that will not after so long a time produce 
satiety and to an ordinary mind the continual change of traveling 
is as wearisome after a while as the most monotinous uniformity. I 
was much pleased with my jaunt and I hope that it will prove to me 
a source of great advantage. 

I received your kind letter at Boston and was much surprised at 
its contents: I intended to have answered it in Philadelphia but 
was prevented by not staying at that place as long as I expected. I 
should have <m> been much gratified if you <could> ha<ve>d 
graduated, but as I wrote father, according to your statement it 

The Pettigrew Papers 315 

was all for the best; I hope however that you may well improve the 
remainder of your time at College which is but short. 

You doubtless wish to know how I have proceeded in my journey, 
since I left Niagara falls. From this place I went to Lake Ontario 
and took the steam-boat to Toronto the capital of Upper Canada, 
from thence I continued down the lake stop<p>ing at several 
towns on the margine; I continued down the river st Lawrence to 
Montreal; the scenery of this river is most beautiful and it has 
deservedly been the theme of many a beautiful description. I was 
not much pleased with Montreal, the streets are very narrow and 
disagreeable and in many instances the side walks are so contracted 
that two persons can with difficulty walk abreast. There are about 
forty thousand inhabitants in this place. I next visited Quebec, 
about 180 miles below Montreal; this city is complete walled 
around, (I mean all the city proper). The city proper is situated on 
the top of a hill <about> between 2 and 3 hundred feet high; a large 
proportion /of the business/ is done with out the walls in What is 
called the lower town. The views about Quebec are more beautiful 
than any in any other part of America, and from the top of the 
citidel you can see for many miles all around, immediately around 
the city, the country is thickly inhabited <which gives a> and the 
houses are all painted white which /is/ a beautiful addition to the 
general pearance of the country. I was on the celebrated plains of 
Abraham during a most splendid /review/ of <the> /three/ 
British regiments in full dress, stood on the spot where the great 
Wolfe fell <was /saw/> was near the place where the galant 
Montgomery was killed when attacking the citidel and saw the 
position of the cannon that shot him. From Quebec I passed thro 
the lower part of Canada and Maine; I stopped at most of the towns 
in M. I then continued on to Boston to Providence, Hertford, New 
Haven and then to New York again. 

When I got home I found father very ill with a bilious fever but I 
am glad to say he soon recovered. I hope his journey will not have 
any bad effect upon him. 

I wish you would send me [by] father my college diploma and the 
seal to my society diploma, also, since You are not studying French 
I should like if you could spare them, that you would send me your 
Dufief. I hope dear brother that you will write me frequently, and 
let us act as we ought to act and as I feel forgeting any unkind 
expression that may ever have passed between us, for we should all 
be of a forgiving disposition as we hope to be forgiven. 

Father will give you this letter 

I am your affetionate brother 
Charles L. Pettigrew 
[Addressed] M^ William S. Pettigrew 
Chapel Hill 

316 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

James Johnston Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew unc 

Lake Phelps Dec 6 1836 

My Dear Father 

I hope you have arrived safe in Washington and you have not 
been stoped by the cold weather D'' Bell going to move to Plymouth 
next week and he says that I will be cured in a week or so, brother 
Charles had a little cold but he has got well of it, M^ Davenport 
sends his respetcs to you. the farm is doing pretty smart brother 
Charles went to preaching and left me home, brother Charles saw 
M^s Haughton and she invited him to stay 2 or 3 days. M^ Collins 
has arriveed. we had a verry hard rain the Night before last but not 
as to stop the ploughers. 

brother Charles got a long verry well but with one whom he had 
to whip he thinks he will do better, I am verry <muc> much pleased 
that musket which you sent me they are a great many ducks the 
lake as well as squirrils in the woods, we are done gathering corn 
all but the beetree feild, we have <done> /killed/ another beef 
yesterday evening, brother Charles rode his mare out to belgrade 
last week, they are a plenty of birds in the field, brother Charles let 
me shoot twice at a hawk but did not kill him with his shot gun 
brother Charles says that he try and shoot some duks with my 
musket brother Charles sends his love to you 

Your affectionate son 
James Johnston Pettigrew 
[Addressed] Hon. E. Pettigrew 
City of Washington 


Ebenezer Pettigrew to Josiah Collins"^ a&h 

Washington City Dec 7, 1836 

My dear Sir 

I rise (12 oclk) from a sick bed to write you on the subject which 
we had been talking &c &c. I had taken cold before I left Carolina, 
which has continued to increase and last night I was much 
inconvenenced by fever, head ache & a slight pain in my breast. I 
am better now, but shall not go out today as the air is cold & damp. 

Genl. Jackson is in a very feble state & I think it highly probable 
will not see the end of his term, but I hope he will, in as much as I 
want no parade of funerals, nor of any other sort while I am here 

The Pettigrew Papers 317 

and farthermore it will cost the nation a million of dollars. Even a 
funeral of one of us poor devils, costs five thousand. 

On the subject of a Partnership in the silk culture^ with you. I 
have concluded to unite with you provided the sum which I can 
now advance without being too much cramped, will suit your 
convenience at this time. I can draw on New York for seven 
hundred dollars & I have a note of Doctor Warrens on which there 
are upwards of three hundred dollars due, which sum I suppose he 
would pay on presentment & would have paid long before this had 
he not forgotten its existance. These two amounts will make, say 
one thousand dollars and I may receive some money due by the 
County and in the county by individuals when I return home. I 
expect after six months to be in funds for any sum that the concern 
may call for on my part unless something may turn up over which I 
can have no control. I should now be above the present demand but 
my mother in her last will left to my son Charles a legacy to be paid 
him when he arrived at age & I had told him previous to my 
conversation with you that the money arising from the sale of my 
wheat should be paid to him. 

On the receit of this you will please to write to me your 
conclusions and if you should think proper to form a partnership, 
you will take the necessary steps to that effect. 

This is a most extravagant place. As one evidence, I am paying 
$15 a week board. I am with the same gentlemen (except poor M^^ 
Goldsborough) who formed the mess last year. In the same house & 
room, so that it seems more like home; a home I hope never to claim 
after the 4th March next. 

We are going to the devil & I have not vanity enough to think for 
a moment that I can put a stop to the journey one hour, and 
therefore cannot see any reason for my sacrifising all the little the 
very little composure which has fallen to my lot in my later days. 

With my best respect to M'"s Collins 

I am your friend & obd^ srvt. 
E Pettigrew 

Josiah Collins [Jr.] Esqr 

^The enthusiasm for silk culture swept North Carolina and other southern 
states after 1828 for two decades. The species of mulberry tree known as Morus 
multicaulis was extensively cultivated at this time. Unfortunately, the specula- 
tion in trees overshadowed the production of silk itself and eventually there 
was a collapse of the boom, with orchards of dead mulberry trees standing 
where once there had been budding hopes. Ashe, History of North Carolina, II, 
387; William F. Leggett, The Story of Silk (New York: Lifetime Editions, 1949), 
332-336. The Newbern Spectator, October 4, 1839, carried advertisements for 
Morus multicaulis trees and silkworm eggs for sale. 

318 N.C. Division op^ Archives and History 

Charles Lockhart Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew unc 

Lake Pheps Dec 14th i836 

My dear Father 

We have had some very cold weather since I last wrote you, but I 
hope that you have not experienced any ill effect from it; the snow 
was as deep as ever I remember to have seen it, however notwith- 
standing the great fall, the snow melted very rapidly the two first 
days then there came a rain which completely cleared the ground 
of its white coat. 

M^ Davenport killed the hoggs on the day after the snow, there 
were 55 of them and they /made/ an average of a fraction <of> 
/over/ 152 apiece they were fine looking, one of them went as high 
as 257 and there was one that weighed 54. Also on the same day he 
killed 4 beeves which weighed somewhat more than 1300 weight, 
there is one more <f> beef to kill. Old Charles attended to the fat 
and brought in not but a little over two barrells, and M^ Davenport 
and myself concluded that he has kept back a considerable portion 
of it, he however protests his innocence so that we concluded to let 
you see it and determine for yourself whether it is all there since 
you know how much ought to come from hoggs so fat. 

Mr Davenport has <done> finished plowing one half of the Bee 
tree field and there only remains the middle and the other half of 
the Beetree. he also has a little more than half of the field before the 
house plowed. 

I have rather a bad account to give of your corn-sheller M*" 
Brickhouse and M^" Davenport were trying the machine by hand on 
Sunday last when one of the wheels of the power <broak> broke, 
M^^ Davenport s/a/ys it is the smallest wheel that there is, for I 
have not seen it since /the/ accident: moreover M^* D. informed me 
that whenever there were a good /many/ ears in, the band would 
slip, so that I suppose you will have to get a chain-band. M^ D. says 
he does not like it and swears that he can eat the corn as fast as it 
can shell it. However pa before I write you again I will see Mr 
Brickhouse and know all about /it/ and write you what he thinks 
best to be done, and what is really the matter with it. 

W^ Davenport has recieved a new <case> /instance/ of provo- 
cation from M'' Dempsey Spruill. The evening that M^ D. was done 
with the hogs he sent most of the forces to Belgrade as there was 
nothing here to do: as the hands were going along M^" S. looked at 

them and saw Arthur and says to him you are the d m 

scoundrel that stole my hogs and your master has brought you up 
to it, and with that M^^" S. run after him <un> but the negro ran into 
the swamp and thus saved himself: this is the tale that Arthur and 
Mack tells. M^ D. says that on Sunday last he M^ Brickhouse and 
W^ Woodley were riding along the road and that they were abusing 

The Pettigrew Papers 319 

Mr S. when lo they came across Mr S. laying /in weight/ as M^ D. 
says, to catch his negros and whip them, that M^ S. heard all they 
/is/ said but stood and grinned and looked as mean as a man could 
look. I think that in as much as you have hired M^ D.'s negro he is 
yours for the time being and that your negros ought certainly to be 
able to go about your business. I being in your place here feel 
myself bound to protect your property from the aggressions of 
other men. So that if it meets with your approbation I will speak to 
Mr Spruill about it and also the case of Jeff. And if he sh/o/uld 
continue so to act notwithstand what I will tell him I would ask you 
how then to act or what redress to take. 

16th Dec 

M'' Davenport recievd a note from M'' Halsey purporting that the 
articles which you sent had arrived, and this morning I have sent 
for them. I am very much obliged to you f[or] them. I also sent to 
Columbia for 2 bushels of coarse salt suppos[i]ng that [torn] would 
not be enough. I have also the intelligence to [commu]nicate to you 
that Mr L. D. Wilson has some time since declared himself a 
candidate whether you oppose or not. M^ Davenport as well as 
myself are very anxious to know whether this has wrought any 
change in your views. I myself would greatly prefer your not 
coming out since it affords you no pleasure and the winters are 
attended with great danger to your health; withal if you were not to 
drink it might cost you your election after much effort. The people 
will immediately say that since you had got to Congress your had 
become too proud to drink with them You<r> are aware by this 
time of D'' Bell's intention to leave us, but he says he will come 
down from Plymouth to see Johnston untill he is perfectly 
recovered he is improving there are no appearances on his hands 
and the sores on his body (which are 3 or 4) looked much deadened I 
think that he must be entirely free, /in a mo/u/nth/ Johnston 
wished me to give his love to you Mr Dav[e]nport his also and 
believe me your affectionate son 

Charles L Pettigrew 

Please give my love to Uncle William and my best respects to Gov 
Kent and M^ Pearce 

[Addressed] Hon E. Pettigrew H.R. 
City of 

320 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

Ebenezer Pettigrew to Dempsey Spruill* a&h 

Copy to Dempsey Spruill 

[Washington, D.C.] Dec 26, 1836 


In a letter from my son I have been informed of an act of yours, 
which I think it my duty to take notice of, it being the second & is 
satisfactory evidence to me of your unfriendly desposition to me. 
The first act is Your driving Jeff away from your house because he 
had been sent by M^^ Davenport with a message which M^ 
Davenport was induced to send to Capt Dudley from the anxiety I 
had expressed /to him/ to get my flats which I had hired to 
Captain Dudley in time for the delivery of my wheat. The next is 
your late attack on Arther when passing between my two planta- 
tions. In the first place I wish you to understand that I have hired 
Arther from his master M^^ Davenport and while I have him hired 
he is mine. And, really things have come to a fine pass that I 
cannot send a message to a man at your house because my words 
pass from the mouth of M^ Davenport to the negro who delivers the 
message and that my negroes can not pass along the road by your 
house from one plantation to the other without your attemping to 
beat them. Sir I shall consider these acts as intended for me 
because I have not joined with you in your venom towards M^ 
Davenport and I shall not put up with such any more. 

In the name of common sense are you so full of bitterness 
towards Mr Davenport that you cannot see a poor slave that calls 
him master, but of which slave I am now the master without 
wishing to beat him. If that is your nature & desposition you must 
certainly be one of the most malignant men on earth and if you 
continue to indulge in such a temper there is no telling what you 
will not get to before you end your few remaining days in this world 
according to the ordinary <course of nature> length of human life. 
I have not taken part in your quarrel with M^ Davenport except 
<to> in endeavouring to restrain his feelings, but perhaps that is 
my offense to you & the cause of your conduct, but Be assured that 
neither you nor any other person living in any way whatever can 
induce me to join against the innocent. No sir I am the last man 
living who would say guilty without there being guilt, and it was 
idle and foolish you at first to expect it, you ought to have known 
me better than to have hoped for such a thing. 

I am not desirous that there should be any intercourse between 
yours & mine and you are perfectly <willing> welcome to drive 
away any & all of my negroes & every other person who may be a 
part of my household from any part of your premises, but Sir, they 
must be permited to pass along the common highway unmolested 

The Pettigrew Papers 321 

& without interruption on ther good behaviour, and let me ask of 
you to read and recollect this letter for I say again, that I will /not/ 
put up with any /more/ arbitary acts from you in any shape. I am 
your &c 

E Pettigrew 

but believe me it is the last of my wishes to get in to difficulty with 
you, & I will <to> avoid them in all honourable ways, but without 
the slightest submission. 

William Shepard Pettigrew to Ehenezer Pettigrew UNC 
University of N. Carolina Jan. 12th i837 

Dear Pa 

Knowing your anxiety to hear from me I take the first opportunity 
after my arrival to write. 

My journey between Washington and Fredricksburg though not 
very pleasant was as much so as could be expected when you 
consider what the road generally is, the ground was frosen hard 
and we traveled quite safely with the exception of one upset, but by 
which no one had the misfortune of being hurt. The rest of my trip 
was safe. I was sorry to find after arriving at Raleigh that Uncle 
Bryan <an> had left together with Uncle James [Shepard] who 
had obtained his county court license. The bundle and letter I gave 
to Mr Guion to be sent to Newbern by the earliest opportunity. 

In conclusion I will mention a high compliment which a 
gentleman who traveled in company from Washington told me he 
heard passed on you in that City by a distinguished man. 'That 
you were too honest a man to be in Congress". Hoping at the same 
time that you would again be a candidate. 

Please remember me to all who inquire, and particularly to Gov. 
Kent I am very well. 

Believe me your 
affectionate son 
William S. Pettigrew 
[Addressed] Hon E. Pettigrew 
Washington City 

322 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

Ebenezer Pettigrew to John Herritage Bryan UNC 

Washington Jan 14, 1837 

My dear Sir, 

I received your favour of the 5<^h about five ago and am much 
obUged to you for the contents. The die is cast. My letter decUning a 
reelection is in the hands of the Printer & I expect will be sent out in 
all of next week. Confound this place altogether, but I find one 
other reason for declining. — which is that I am becoming more 
partizan, and am acquiring in spite of my exertions to the contrary 
a most unpleasant feeling towards the dishonest part of Congress, 
so much so that if I had no other reason it would be sufficient that I 
should quit. You know how imprudent I am in speaking of those 
who I think are scoundrals or that I dislike. God help us! I think 
there are in Congress as much dishonesty as among the same 
number of people in any part of the United States. The expunging 
resolutions will pass. I heard yesterday a most eloquent speech 
from M^ [William Campbell] Preston on the subject and one of the 
most violent replys from Rives. ^ R's words were very violent but his 
gestures & manner much more so, repeatedly shaking his fist in 
the most grog shop manner at Preston. It was very near <eque> 
equal to the house of R. and old John Adams. I thought M^* Preston 
made a very happy reply. I expect they will be in the Intelegencer. 
If so I would recommend the perusal of them to you. [Thomas Hart] 
Benton has as much the command of the Senate as you have of 
your office and the only hope the country can have of geting out 
from /the powers of/ this wretched party <in power> is a collision 
between Benton & Rives, as it is confidently asserted that they are 
both looking for the Presidency and hate each other. I fear this /is/ 
a vain hope for I apprehend the common rule will not apply in this 

case among these uncommon S . that when rogues fall out, 

honest men come to their rights 

The chairman of the Committee of ways & means has brought 
forth a bill to reduce the Tariff which will meet with violent 
opposition; and what will be the result no one can tell. At any rate I 
suspect it will consume the greater part of the session to the 
exclusion of the claim for French spoliations and some other 
important subjects. 

So far there has been but few documents, what there has been I 
have sent you not long since. I mentioned to W"^ B. S. your message 
about Frederick S's debt who says that he has as much as he can do 
to pay his own debts, and that he thinks Frederick will be able to 
pay to you the debt which he owes you next year after he makes a 
crop. M^' W. B. S. farther requests me to say to you that he would be 
glad if you would write him in answer to several letters which he 

The Pettigrew Papers 323 

has lately writen to you. Commidore, Biddle^ is here on a court 
marshal and is staying in our mess. 

I am glad to inform you that my health is improving for which I 
give credit to ante smoking & ante stimulating but I look badly and 
much broke, however that is nothing to me, so long as I have 
energy of mind and body. It is with great pleasure that I count up 
the weeks as they pass away, and look with great anxiety to the 
time when I shall be again as free as I was two years ago. It is said 
that the new elected Senator from Virginia is about to be off. There 
is a good deal of disease among the members, but none that I know 
very seriously ill except the one above mentioned. We have had a 
small fall of snow & it is quite cold. 

I direct this letter to Newbern supposing from your remark 
/when/ with you that you will have left Raleigh before this can 
reach that place. 

I hope you are well and that you have born the travil at this 
enclement seson without much suffering. Also that sister Mary & 
children are all well. Please to make my kind regards to her & all 
the children as well as my friends else where & believe me your 
friend & relation 

E Pettigrew 
[Addressed] John H. Bryan esqr 
North Carolina 

1 William Cabell Rives (1792-1868) of Virginia, a Whig, was a lawyer who had 
served in the state legislature. He was a member of the United States House of 
Representatives, 1823-1829, and of the Senate, 1832-1834, 1836-1839, and 1841- 
1845. Biographical Directory of Congress, 1524. 

2 James Biddle (1783-1848) of Philadelphia was a naval officer who held many 
important commands at sea. He was a brother of Nicholas Biddle. CDAB, 72. 

Edward Stanly to Ebenezer Pettigrew a&h 

Washington [North Carolina] Jany: 16th i837 

My Dear Sir, 

Your letter of the 20 Ult: was received some time since, and would 
have been answered earlier, but I thought you had better have a 
resting spell, and not receive letters too fast, I know your duties in 
this particular are onerous, and the calls upon your time frequent 
and constant. — I am much indebted to your kindness for the 
information you sent me relative to the Missouri lands. I have been 
trying for the last three or four years to ascertain something upon 
this subject, but have been unsuccessful until now. Will you oblige 

324 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

me by presenting my grateful acknowledgments to M^ Harrison for 
his kindness, and tell him I shall follow his advice as to the Illinois 
lands, and without accident shall go there this ensuing summer. — 
As the next thing now to be done is, — to prevent these lands now 
redeemable, from being sold again, I must trouble you further; Will 
you ascertain from M^ Harrison whether there is any danger that 
the lands will be sold this year, and how I shall proceed to redeem 
them? If there is no immediate danger of their being sold. I will not 
trespass farther on your kindness or on his, but should the laws of 
Missouri, demand their sale before July or August next. Can you 
assist me farther in preventing this by advancing for me the 
requisite sum, or telling me how I can get funds to the proper 
place? — I have no means except through you, of procuring any 
information, as to the regulations of the land matters in the West. 
You know at Washington City, I could not find out anything, and 
now land is insight. I intend to keep a steady look out, until I reach 
the object in view. 

I fear with you our country's affairs are in a most horrible 
condition, — but we must not despair. I still hope after Jackson is 
dead, and the reptiles who have crawled into power during his 
reign, will have lost his influence, that the eyes of a deluded people 
will be opened, and all things come right again. — I do not wish the 
death of Andrew Jackson or any other living creature, but I believe 
the County will lose nothing by it, and if he is alive on the 4th 
March next, I wish the people of Beaufort, to celebrate his 
retirement with "bonfires and illuminations" and to have a day of 
public prayer, to thank heaven, his reign is over, and pray, to arest 
the evils so justly apprehended from his successor. — Was there 
ever a parcel of greater fools and knaves, that those who now 
control our financial matters? — but I will write no more on these 
subjects, — you know more of them than I, and the more I think of 
them the more exasperated I feel. — 

I hope you may be successful in your attempts, to procure an 
appropriation for another dredge boat — the operations of the one 
that was burnt I learn were of material service, and bid fair to do 
much more. Poor North Carolina. I hope her luck will take a turn, 
but there is very little prospect of it. — 

I regret to hear your health is bad, — but I am not surprised at it; 
to be confined as much as you are, to see the workings of the dirty 
tools of party, to be thrown so continually among such a parcel of 
Rowdies, and many of those Hon: Representatives are, to witness 
the base sycophancy by which they have crawled, and are 
crawling into power, is enough to sicken any independent gentle- 
man, who has any regard for decency, or ever felt one throb of 
patriotism. — But Do not despair There still be seven thousand, 
"who have not bowed the knee to Baal". — If it be possible, you must 

The Pettigrew Papers 325 

serve another term. I know this is contray to your wishes, but the 
poHtical integrity of the district depends upon it; if you are a 
candidate, it seems to be generally understood, there will be no 
opposition, but if you withdraw, it will be ^'confusion more 
confounded" Our friend Toole^ is anxious to offer, but I fear he 
would be badly beaten, and this seems to be the better opinion. — I 
have made a poor return for your favor in writing you so much 
nonsense, but excuse it, it was not done with ''malice afore- 
thought." — again, present my respects to M^ Harrison and accept 
the good wishes of your friend 

Edw. Stanly 
[Addressed] Hon: Ebenezer Pettigrew 
House of Representatives 
Washington City 

^This may have been Henry Toole, who represented Pitt County in the North 
Carolina House of Commons in the 1831 session. Cheney, North Carolina 
Government, 297. 

Ebenezer Pettigrew to William Shepard Pettigrew a&h 

Washington Jan 20, 1837 

My dear Son 

I received your letter of the 13th with great pleasure, in as much 
as it informed me of your safe arrival at home. I should have liked 
<to> you had informed me what became of & how you got along 
with your /double barrel/ firelock. 

Just praise is no flattery my son & knowing your nature to 
dispondency, it is with pleasure that I inform you, that the 
enquiries for you, & how you got along, and the remarks of your 
appearance & deportment by the mess, particularly M^s Byard^ & 
Miss Catherine were really gratifying. M^s B. expressed a great 
deal of feeling for your sufferings in consequence of the coldness of 
the weather. Oh my dear Son continue to deserve that commenda- 
tion by that only course which will insure your happiness in this 
world & in that to come. I enclose M^ Websters card, left for you the 
day you left. Now my dear son do not let the above have any 
improper weight in your mind. Take this with you from me & that it 
is my settled opinion from observation; that this is a most heartless 
place. Nothing but self is the order of the day here, and no one 
ought to believe anything which he hears without first taking all 
the circumstances into consideration and even then he may be 
most egrediously mistaken. 

326 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

With this I send you my letter declining a candidacy again for 
Congress. I cannot express to you my pleasure at coming to that 
determination and that I had the firmness to resist all importunities 
to the contrary. I would rather be gibbeted than spend two more 
sessions here. I am much obliged to the Gentleman of this place 
who ever he may be. for <this> the good opinion expressed of me. If 
I deserve it now, I fear I should not at the end of another term. This 
place is enough to corrupt the devil in /one/ way or /an/other. 

We are going on in the old way, but little doing and not much of 
that done to the advantage of the country. I look forward to the end 
of the next forty two days with great anxiety and pleasure. 

My dear son I look back with great pleasure at the gratification & 
I hope pleasure which you received in <visiting> your visit to this 
and I hope you are satisfyed that the necessary sum expended in 
that visit was advanced as free as water by your father, but to give 
you an idea how money can go, I will for your satisfaction give you 
a statement of it. as follows. 

Traveling to this place $30-00. pr. short Boots. $3.50— $33-50 
pr Gloves $1.00— 3 pr. stockings 1.55— Stock 1-50. 

Cash $10.— 14-05 

Theater $1.00— Washing 55— Blanket 1-25— 2-80 
Three weeks board at 13-00— $39-00 

Traveling [home] $40— 79-00 


My dear Son. I will again say it is money well spent. & I am 
gratified as much as you are and all I ask of you is do not be 
waistful & make unnecessary expenditures. 

In conversation when here you asked me if I was willing for you 
to study Kents commentaries, and I gave you an indefinate 
answer. I now say that I wish you to study them, and as for the cost 
of the book It is well worth it for the library at home. 

I got a letter two day ago from M^ Davenport dated Jan 5th in 
which he sends his & M^s Ds compliments to you & that he will 
write you in a short time. He further informs me that your Brother 
Charles is sick at which I am very uneasy. I have not received a 
letter from Charls since 24 Dec. My health had continued to 
improve untill /within/ a few days, when I am declining from this 
miserable way of living say dining at five o clock With a blessing 
this next forty two days shall be the last of such suffering. 

And now my dear son I will conclude this letter by wishing you to 
write often & may God Almighty Bless you is the prayer 

of your affect, father 
E Pettigrew 

The Pettigrew Papers 327 

Mr W. S. Pettigrew 

N.B. I am now very unwell 

[Addressed] M^ W^ S Pettigrew 
Chapel Hill 
North Carolina 

^This probably refers to the wife of Richard Henry Bayard (1796-1868), a 
United States senator from Delaware. Bayard practiced law and served in the 
Senate, 1836-1839 and 1841-1845. Biographical Directory of Congress, 528. 

John F. Hughes^ to Ehenezer Pettigrew a&h 

Sparta N Ca Feby 3^^ i837 
Hon E Petigrew 


Your circular letter, dated "Washington City Jany IQth 1837", 
addressed to your constituents of this Congressional District, 
announcing your withdrawal as a candidate, for their suffrages, to 
the next Congress of the US, has been rec^ by me, in common with 
your other friends and constituents in this vicinity, and altho' my 
personal acquaintance with you, is extremely limited, I avail 
myself of the first <occasion> opportunity, to express my unfeigned 
regrets on the occasion and to assure you that, should you retire 
from /the/ strife of a political life, you will bear with you into 
retirement the thanks and best wishes of the Whigs of this 
Congressional District, — 

I do net know of any period in our national history, so pregnant 
with coming events, and which cast their shadows with such 
ominous import, as the present — indeed, the moral of political life, 
seems to be fast sinking into the vortex of imbecility and depravity, 
and I am inclined to the opinion that this Republic, has passed its 
meridian splendour and now going down in corruption, amidst its 
own rays of glory. 

Never did Egypt, when under the dominion of famine and the 
locust, experience a more deadly scourge, than this far famed 
Country, is now suffering from those political leaches, who are 
preying upon the vitals of our mangled Constitution, and who are 
daily and hourly making inroads, upon the integrity and virtue of 
our national character — 

Did you know, (surely you do) that nothing in this wide world, so 
much resembles truth as falsehood — virtue as vice, then nothing in 
this wide world, resembles a corrupt Government more than an 


N.C. Division of Archives and History 

overflowing Treasury and irresponsible Agents — When I see those 
political maggots, fairly at work on the marrow bones of the 
Republic, I feel, as you very forcibly expressed at the conclusion of 
your Circular, ''a disgust and indignation which I want language 
to express". 

Mr Van Buren, has promised to follow in the footsteps of his 
predecessor, so we may expect more travelling 

"Over ruts and ridges 
And wooden bridges, 
Made of planks 
In open ranks," 

Be that as it may, I pray you to present the complements of a 
stranger, to those vigelent sentinels on <the> our ''Watch Tower of 
Liberty," Messrs Peyton^ and [Henry Alexander] Wise of the House 
of Reps and accept for yourself assurances of my distinguished 


Hon E. Petigrew 
House of Reps 
Washington City 

Your most Obdt Svt 
Jno F Hughes 

^ John F. Hughes has not been identified. However, Sparta was undoubtedly 
the community later called Old Sparta in Edgecombe County on the Tar River. 
Powell, North Carolina Gazetteer, 363. 

Other letters expressing sentiments similar to those given here were omitted 
from this volume but may be found in the Pettigrew collections at the North 
Carohna Archives and the Southern Historical Collection. 

^Balie Peyton (1803-1878), an attorney, represented Tennessee in Congress as 
a Whig, 1833-1837. Biographical Directory of Congress, 1450-1451. 

Invoice for Purchases by Ebenezer Pettigrew UNC 

Baltimore Feb 7th i837 
Hon E Pettigrew 
Bot of J. S. Eastman 

1 oz 

Early York 







Early Battersea 



drumhead Savoy 



Flat Dutch 




Early turnip 



The Pettigrew Papers 


2 " Long Blood 

1 " long orange 

2 " fine sugar 

2 papers Early frame 

2 oz long Scarlet 

2 " white turnip rooted 

1 " yellow turnip rooted 

1 " Early Bush 

1 " cocoa nut 

1 " long green 

1 " Early cabb 

1 paper Large Lima 

1 " red Speckled Valentine 

Reed payment 







































. s.: 




Charles Lockhart Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew unc 

Lake Phelps Feb 16th 1837 

Dear Father 

In my letter last week I informed you that Johnston was quite 
well, and I am happy to say that he continues to improve in health, 
and is now perfectly well. But it is quite the contrary with myself I 
seem to improve very little, if at all, my cold and cough still 
continue to be troublesome, and I cannot tell when to expect it to 
get better. They are prevalent about the country and I understand 
from /Plymouth/ that many cases have proved fatal. 

In your letter to me in which you enclosed the letter to Captain S. 
Spruill, you requested me to carry it to his house; but learning that 
he had gone to Charleston I concluded I would await his return; but 
he has not yet returned and some fears begin to be entertained that 
he is lost, he has not been heard of since he left the Bar A captain 
who went out with him says there was a considerable gale soon 
after they went out, he went to Charleston and had a considerable 
amount of replairs /done/ on his own vessel which delayed him 
sometime, but still he /neither/ heard nor saw any thing of him. I 
much fear that he has been blown somewhere entirely out of his 
reconing for I understand he is ignorant of navigation or been lost. 

Mr Davenport is conducting the business with his usual expedi- 
tion, although my being so unwell has prevented me from going to 
Belgrade very lately. 

330 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

M^ Brickhouse arrived here on monday last and I was sorry to 
learn from him that you were unwell; I hope however you will soon 

The mails are now in /so/ disordered a condition that perhaps 
this will be the only letter that will certainly reach you before you 
leave for home so that I will mention some things that I should be 
glad if you would please procure for me. vis some stuff for 
Pantaloons as I have but the pair you got for me before you left for 
every day wear, my other every day ones have become old and unfit 
for wear. Day's Mathematics which I suppose you forgot to send 
me: also since I <have plan> intend to plant the /Sugar/ Beet<s so 
that> I would like to know something def<£>inite about it which I 
can learn from Chaptal's work on the Sugar-Beet and the Report of 
the Philadelphia Sugar-Beet Society: I should be glad if you you 
would procure them for me. Further Lidia, although she had as 
much of the Bed-Ticking as the others who had it says it is not 
enough and wants more over long sieves. I told her I would write to 
you and if you thought proper when /you returned/ you would 
bring some more, she wants 2 or 3 yards more. Johnston wants a 
little book of Tales, and request me to ask you to bring him 
something of the kind, he is much obliged to you for his candy and 
sends his love to you 

Believe me your dutiful son 
Charles L Pettigrew 
[Addressed] Hon. E. Pettigrew 
City of 

Richard Hines to Ehenezer Pettigrew a&h 

Hermitage Near Sparta 16th Febry: 1837 

Dear Sir, 

Absence from home and other engagements have prevented my 
writing you much longer than I wished or intended. Although I 
have been a silent I have by no means been an inatentive or 
uninterested spectator of the sayings and doings at Washington. 
Much as I regreat it truth compels me to say I look upon the 
Constatutional existance of our Government as at an end, for we 
are already under the absolute will and controul of one man, and 
that man a malicious, vindictive, despot, false and corrupt to the 
very hearts core in the whole administration of the Government for 
the last few years at least. Who knows no law but his own will, 
whether that be to make M. V. B. president or R. H. Whitney /pass 

The Pettigrew Papers 331 

for/ an honest man — I pray God to forgive me for the part I had in 
his elevation. I will try and sin no more. If there was any doubt of 
the correctness of my conclusions before, I think the Presidents 
recent letter to M^^ Wise, Whitneys' conduct before one committee, 
and answer to another, M^ Adam's (Oh! how has the mighty 
fallen.) on the subject /of/ abolition and the slaves. And last 
though not least the Presidents letter to M^ Calhoun the most 
vindictive malicious unconstitutional production that ever 
emenated from the heart of any citizen of this once happy country. 
Would seam to leave no doubt of their correctness. I see no hope for 
the south but to put her self at once upon her own rightes — the 
sooner the better. 

I envy not the feelings of the southern friends of the administra- 
tion just now. I must confess I have had some hopes from Mi' Van 
Burin but begin to dispair for him — he even disposed it would be 
next to impossable to place the affairs of the goverment as they 
were — 

Your few but warm friends in this part of the Country very much 
regreat the necessity you found yourself under of declining a 
reelection, which I am very certain you could have obtained 
without difficulty. I believe without opposition. Knowing as I do 
the climate of Washington your constatution and habits of life, I 
must confess I was not surprised, however much I regreated your 
determination. The administration party here I believe are deter- 
mined to drop D>* Hall. Genl Wilson will be their candidate. The 
Whigs will probably have a convention at Washington [North 
Carolina] nominate their candidate. Who he will be is uncertain. 

M^ [Peter] Evans has sold his plantation near me & forty of his 
negros and will remove permenantly to Chatham in a few weeks, 
he was here yesterday and requested to be affectionately re- 
membered to you. We are very anxious to have a view behind the 
scene, the ondits &.c. about the new cabinet at Washington, and 
your opinion of the present and probable coming state of our 
Government. Please send me the reports of the investigating 

Very respectfully & truly your 

Obt: Servt: 
Richd: Hines 

John F. Hughes Esqr. near Sparta was one of your warmest friends 
in this neighborhood. 

[Addressed] Hon: E. Petigrew 

332 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

Ebenezer Pettigrew to Edward Bishop Dudley 

and James W[est] Bryan^* unc 

Copy to <D> Govr Duldy 

Washington City Feb 27, 1837 


I have received your letter of the 20th Inst, and had also received 
one from James W. Bryan esqr dated the 26<^h UJt. on the subject to 
which yours is relating. To the letter of M^ Bryan I directed an 
answer & in his absence from Newbern to M^ John H. Bryan dated 
13th Instant. The sub<ject>stance of which letter is as follows. 

No one can feel more interest in the improvment of the State of N. 
Carolina than myself, having long since made up my mind to 
continue in it the remainder of my life and also willing that my 
children shall after me, under a very firm belief (if we would think 
so) that there is not a State in union which has greater /natural/ 
advantages than that we life in. 

The day was when nothing could have been so congenial to my 
nature & wishes as to have been offered that which is now 
proposed in your letter. I was a perfect enthusiast <i> on the 
subject. For twenty seven years I had a fixed & never changing eye 
to the object for which I set out, and as a private individual, with 
very limited means, did a great deal; and from my long experience 
in draining swamp lands, <my unremiting habit of atention to 
/that/ business> my fondness for it, aded to my unremiting habit 
of attention to business, did believe that I could have done justice to 
the State. But <alas>! those days are gone by. My <measurable 
/in a great degree/> retirement <from> in a great degree from 
those active & to me pleasing <duties> employments for now 
nearly seven years, together with my advancing age has very 
much impaired my energies & nothing at this time is so desirable 
as to be retired from the bustle & busy scenes of life, with some 
small interest to occupy my attention, which I can retire from & 
attend to at pleasure In truth my servitude at this most miserable 
of places which unfits a man for any other place but this after a few 
years stay at it, has worn me out in both mind & body, more than 
ten years /of/ ditching in the swamps of N. Carolina, and at this 
time I am not fit for anything but to lay by & repair damages, if 
there is enough soundness to be worth repair. 

To do my duty in whatever station I may be placed /as far as in 
my power lies/ whether in /this/ rowdy & disorderly body the H. of 
Representitives, & this most corrupt & corruping place, or in the 
swamps of N. Carolina (from the former I most sincerely thank my 
God I am about to be released) I hope will alway be a governing 
principle with me, & one of the great consolations which I shall 

The Pettigrew Papers 333 

have when about to close my eyes on this world forever. But to do 
my duty in the offer proposed in your letter at my time of life & with 
my present habits <of care & melancholy> would I fear be 
impossible & while I feel highly honoured by the request in your 
letter <to accept> & the advice of a number of my friends to accept 
/knowing myself better/ I am constrained to decline it. 

I have the honour to be your Obdt Sev* 

E Pettigrew 

Copy to James W. Bryan 

My dear Sir, 

But two days ago I received yours of Jan 26. 1 went on Saturday 
the 4th to Baltimore on a little business and was there sick several 
days and on returning two Locomotives, one of which I was drawn 
by meet on the road and we were brought to full stop. Both were 
unable to proceed farther, and in truth ours /& our/ forward car 
<and> were literally demolished. This disaster detained me a day 
longer. — As to the subject of your letter. No one can feel more 
interest in the improvement of the state of N. Ca. than myself, and 
the day was when nothing could have been so congenial to my 
nature & wishes as to have been offered that which is now 
proposed in your letter. I was a perfect enthusiast on the subject, 
and did think I could do justice to the state in that business, from 
my long experience, my habits of attention to <business> it, aded 
to my fondness for it, but alas! that is gone by. My misfortune 
which is not nor never can be obliterated from mind & consequently 
my measurable retirement from those active & to me pleasing 
duties, <together with my advancing age> for now near seven 
years together with my advancing age has very much impaired my 
energies, and nothing now is so desirable as to be removed from the 
bustle & busy scenes of life with some small interest to occupy my 
attention, from which I can retire &; attend to at pleasure. To you 
my dear Sir, I will say, it was truly said, 'When such friends part 
the survivor dies.' 

To accept of the Commission proposed & to do my duty in that 
office & to do my duty in whatever station I may be placed whether 
in Congress or in the swamps of North Carolina fighting 
musquitoes & yellow flies (the latter place I should greatly prefer) 
will I hope be one of the great consolations I shall have when I 
come to leave this world, But to do my duty in the business 
proposed at my time of life & with my /present/ habits would be I 
fear impossible and while I feel highly honoured by the request am 
constrained to decline it. 

I am with great respect your obdt Servt 

E Pettigrew 

334 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

^James West Bryan (1805-1864) of New Bern, brother to John Herritage 
Bryan, was an attorney. A Whig, he represented Carteret County in the North 
CaroHna Senate, 1835-1836. Powell, DNCB, I, 255. 

John Williams to Ebenezer Pettigrew UNC 

Charleston Feby 2<9>8, 1837 

Hone E. Pettigrew 

Dear Sir, 

I am this moment in rec^ of your valued favour of the 22^ Inst, 
contents Note^ I am still of the Same opinion that corn will 
continue at & above $1 . Through the Season both north & south, if 
your /corn/ is white it will I think be good in this market for more 
than $1. The last sale but a few days since of skinners white corn I 
made @ 117^ and have no doubt but I shall obtain from 112 to 117. 
for all there corn ship^ in future. If you wish me to contract for your 
corn in this market I think I can do So @ 112^ to be deliv^ between 
this and the last of May, nor should I be anxious to contract at that 
price. This is however only my opinion which I do not urge in 
opposition to your better Judgement. I have sold within the last 
two weeks 40,000 Bushels corn from 103. to 107*^ Prime white is still 
in demand @108. to 115*^ I have now on the way from your state 
30,000 Bushels and would advise you not to ship Just now. I think 
it better to defer for about 30 days, in the mean time will keep you 
advisd of the market, and if you can forward to Mess Bryan & 
Maitland of Plymouth N Ca a small sample of your corn for them to 
forward me I could then advise you with more correctness, and 
certainty, if white I have no doubt but it will command the rise of $1 
in this market shipd between this and the first June — 

Your frd 
John Williams 

N.B. The Lady of the Lake was abandon^ at Sea on the 15^ Jany. 
and should the crew have reach^ home I will thank you to have the 
protest noted & Extended if not previously done and forward me to 
enable me to collect the Insurance on the cargo of corn — I can not 
do this untill I received the protest 


2 oclock 

Since writing the above I have seen all the corn Dealers, and am 
now offerd for your corn 115*^^ to be deliv^ between this and the last 
of June — if you therefore wish me to ingage it at that price I will do 

The Pettigrew Papers 335 

So on rec^ of your answers — you will therefore write me forthwith, 
should you conclude the purchaser wishes one cargo shipd as soon 
as you can make it convenient — 

Your frd 
John Williams 
[Addressed] Hone E. Pettigrew 

Cool Spring P. office 
Washington County 
North Carolina 

Invoice of Medicines for Ebenezer Pettigrew unc 

[March 6, 1837] 

E. Petigrew Esq^ of North Carolina 

Bot of Robt H. Coleman & Co 
No 133 Market St. 
Balto March 6. 1837. 

[2] oz Paregoric and Phial 
1 oz Calomel and Phial 

1 Box Refined Liquorice 
1/2 [lb] Bhstering Ointment 75 Jar 1272 

2 boxes Seidlitz Powders at 50 
[lb i] Flour Sulphur 

6 bottles Pure Quinine 1 oz. each at 225 
[lb ii] Best Lima Bark at 150 
Vi Yard Adhesive Plaster 
V2 Doz. Large botts. best Castor Oil 
1 box Regnaults Paste 

Box &porterage 

Reed payment 

Rob. H. 

Nathan A. Brickhouse^ to [William Shepard Pettigrew] unc 

Columbia Tyrrel County March the 17th 1837 


I received your faviour of the 19th January and was glad to here 
from you. I was not at home when your letter come, the last week in 

$ 25 







3 00 


3 50 




Coleman & Co 

336 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

January I left for Baltimore at which place I arrived Safe and from 
their to Washington City to See the capital of the Nation and 
Congress in Sesion. i Saw them both and was pleased to See the 
Sight but what give me more pleasure then any thing else was to 
Meet My olde and good friende your father I found him in rather 
bad health he went to Baltimore with me and Staid too days with 
me then he left for Fredrick but was Sum better, and I Done my 
business and set out for home the next day which was the 9th of 
February I got home without delay or accident your father got 
home the 10th Inst, and was verry feeble but was not confind but 
was weake I hope he will Soon recrute which he will. The Object of 
my going to the North was to get a Steme Enjoine for to work at 
Columbia to Saw and grind which object I accomplished the 
Enjoine is 30 horse power, to work 18 Saws and 2 run of mill Stones 
5 feet diametore I contracted for the Enjoine Mill Stones and 
mishenery and all the millright work in order for opperation for 
7000 dollars except the buildings and Brickwork which we do our 
Selves the Mill is to be in opperation by the 20th of November 
acording to contract 

The partners is Charles L Pettigrew Joseph Halsey Joseph 
Brickhouse and My Self we are now ingaged in making purchises 
of Lands and Timber for the mill the whole amount of Cappital 
which we Shal have to Expende will be about 12.000 dollars, we 
have helde a meeting in Tyrrel County and apointed Deligates to 
attende a convention at Washington N C the 1 Monday in May to 
Nominate M^ Collins to fill the place in congress of your father. 

I must Come to a Close 

yours with Respect 
Nathan A Brickhouse 

^Nathan A. Brickhouse served as postmaster at Columbia, Tyrrell County, 
and was subscription agent for the Whig. Whig (Washington, N.C), October 6, 
1841. In 1830, a Nathaniel Brickhouse lived in Caswell County. 1830 Census 
Index, 21. 

Ehenezer Pettigrew to William Shepard Pettigrew a&h 

[April 1, 1837] 

My Dear Son 

On my return from Newbern yesterday I received your letter of 
March 11th — I regret very much that it was [not] answered sooner 
on account of the request in it. I had intended to write you from 
Newbern for the purpose of sending you the above draft, thinking 
that you would begin to need money, but deferred it from day to day 

The Pettigrew Papers 337 

untill it was passed by. However I hope you nor my credit has not 
yet failed for this short time but I wish you to ask no more credit 
than is not to be avoided. 

My object in visiting Newbern so shortly after my return from 
Washington was in consequence of a letter informing that your 
dear little Nancy had St. Vitus' dance. When I arrived I found the 
dear little creature unable to walk a step at which I know my dear 
William it is unnecessary for me to express my sensation. It is 
enough to say that it is enough to Kill me. I am however happy to 
inform you that she was much better before I left, so as to feed 
herself and to walk about without inconvenience, & I pray God will 
recover. Both your dear little sisters had, had the measells, but 
were well. 

My health is better but yet not well. Your brother Charles is well 
& very busily engaged with the farm Davenport having been very 
sick with the Influenza which has prevailed, to the death of a great 
many persons in all parts of this country. In truth this has been the 
sickliest winter & more death than has been known for twenty. All 
the family s black & white have been sick, & most of them very sick, 
but blessed be God none have have died. Mr Davenport & Child I 
found quite sick & Poor Johnston was taken sick after my arrival 
at home yesterday, I hope he will not be sick much. Your brother 
Charles & Johnston & Mr Davenport desire to be affectionately 
remembered to you, & say that they have been looking & would be 
glad to receive a letter from and you will be so good as to 
acknowledge the receit of this draft that I may know you have got 
it. I hope my dear, dear, son that you have too much respect for 
yourself & love for your poor destressed father & brothers & sisters 
to engage in the disgraceful conduct you mention. 

Your affect & [illegible] father 
E Pettigrew 
[Addressed] Mr W^ S Pettigrew 
Chapel Hill 
North Carolina 

John Williams to Ehenezer Pettigrew unc 

Charleston April 17th 1837 

E. Pettigrew Esq 

Dear Sir 

Our market is glutted with corn and would advise you not to ship 
this way. The sudden decline North and New Orleans have caus^ it 
to be press^ on this Market, and to such extent that it is impossible 

338 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

to effect Sales hardly at any price — The many failures all round us 
North & South East & West, have caus<^ many to take place here. 
Business is nearly or entirely suspended, confidence destroy^ 
Banks have stop^ discounting even the best of business paper at 
short time. The produce of the country rapidly declining and where 
it will stop, who can tell, from all around us we hear of failures, and 
the efforts have been made by Mr Biddle & the U.S. Bank — such 
aid as has been extended, up to the present, seems to have very 
little /effect/, — certainly has given no relief, I fear the commercial 
(or it should be call^) the shaving imporium, N. Y. is too rotten, to be 
aided by the means tried— & brought to a final cure — The vice of 
stock Gambling in that city has so superseded the legitimate 
business of trade and commerce that I fear the community there, 
must undergo a strong purgation, in the opperation of which many 
will die — commercialy — I now begin to fear for the Banks, what 
can sustain them under existing circumstances, cotton down to 7 & 
9.[c] this the main spring of produce having its effect on every other 
article of trade & product of the world. I say again when will these 
things come to an end, I fear when too Late, do not ship any corn 
this way — 

your frd 
John Williams 
[Addressed] Mr. E. Pettigrew 
Lake Phelps 
cool Spring P. Office 
Wasington County 


Mary Williams Bryan to Ehenezer Pettigrew UNC 

New Bern April 19. 1837— 

My dear Brother 

I am very happy to inform you that dear little Nancy has 
improved very much, she looks well & lively & that nervous 
affection has worn off I may say entirely, for I have not perceived it 
in several days, — whether she will continue so God only knows I 
trust she will — Last friday was a week ago she was quite nervous 
all day & a little so the next day & it was slightly perceptible for 
several days after — her physician has not seen her since you left, 
she has been with the exception of the time I mention gradually 
improving without the aid of medicine 

I don't know how to advise you about taking her to a more 
salubrious climate for the summer, you must judge of that yourself. 

The Pettigrew Papers 339 

you understand her disease much better than I do — I should 
suppose that by having her constitution strengthened by change 
of cHmate she would be better able to resist any future attack she 
might have — 

Mr Bryan is again absent, he rec^ a letter last week from Judge 
Cameron stating that we could not get the house we expected & 
that he knows of none that we could get — so that our moving to 
Raleigh for this year at least is abandoned. I mention this because 
you know when you were here we talked of it, & I thought perhaps 
that moving there would be all that would be desirable for Nancy, 
it being much he/a/lthier than this place. — 

Ma' & family are tolerably well — I have been suffering very 
much for the last fortnight with influenza, I still have a bad cough 
tho' it is now much better — it has been worse than any I ever had 
before — 

Lydia has been unwell almost ever since you left, she has now a 
swelled face & suffered very much with tooth ache & jaw ache, I am 
apprehensive her face will rise — 

Mary and Nancy send their love to Pa' & brothers, Nancy thinks 
she can hem Pa' a handkerchief now — Remember me to Charles & 
Johns[^]on & believe me 

Your affectionate Sister 
Mary W Bryan. — 
[Addressed] Hon. E. Pettigrew 
Cool Spring 
N. Carolina 

John Baptist Beasley to Ehenezer Pettigrew a&h 

Vicksburg [Mississippi] 4th May 1837 

Dear Sir 

I should think that I had not discharged my duty did I not drop 
you a line on the subject of these fair famed regions To undertake, 
an opinion, in general it would require more space, than can be 
found within the compass of this sheet. I therefore, will only 
submit a few remarks with my opinions on certain matters that 
have come under my observation since I have been here, and 
<will> leave the ballance to the judgment of others. It would be 
needless for me to tell you of the great advantage my money would 
have been to me. had I have brought it. but Haughton Boardman & 
Nobles failure has nailed me to the Counter. This act, of my own 
folly, can never be erased from my memory. It was an unfortunate 
step indeed and criminal in M^^ H in the highest decree, as he knows 

340 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

where I was bound and must have seen 30 days ahead. He has 
written me upon the subject, says that my money is in no danger 
and that they will resume in 10 days 

If this could be done, I should suffer but little, but I am perfectly 
satisfied, that under the great disordered state of money matters 
their expectations will fail, consequently I shall have to remain in 
great suspence until I receive intelligence of the certainty of things 
one way or the other. I must stop at this place until this news 
reaches me for this information, I have written with a candid and 
unaffected reply and I am daily looking for an answer I have been 
thus candid with them, in order to know how to regulate my 
conduct and movements 

This is a place of immense business and in a rapid state of 
improvement, even beyond the calculation of any man that is not 
an eye witness, the buildings that have been, and will be com- 
pleated, within the present year, will not cost less than a Million of 
Dollars, and where the money is to come from to pay for them I am 
entirely at a loss to know. As the Banks in this place will not 
discount upon no terms whatever, they are bound to take this step 
for preservation alone as there is at least $60000 drawn in specie 
every 14 days & The necessary consequence will be, that a fall in 
every species of property will, and must take place Negroes can be 
bought here for cash on better terms than with us. likewise 
provisions of every description. But the most fatal error, under 
which the people of this place are labouring, is to be found in their 
demands for rents, and if persisted in must impede the speedy 
prosperity of the place as I am confident men of reason and 
judgment, would prefer hazarding almost any alternative rather 
than locating upon such unfavourable and unpropitious terms. 

Any House in this place similar to mine would command $1500 
per annum and in like proportion, down to a Hovel, store commands 
from 1000 to 2500 single rooms, now any man of reason & 
responsibility will but in a case of extreme necessity submit to such 
a state of things. As to myself No mortal on earth with all the 
plausible means he could use. could ever reconcile me to come into 
such measures. And unless I could get a permanent foothold and 
that upon reasonable terms I am bound by a sense of duty I owe 
myself and family to look for prospects in a more favourable 
region. Real estate in this place that sold last fall on 1 2 &3 Years 
credit @ $10,000 sold for cash at public auction this week during 
Court for $2000. 1 should have bought it If I had have known it. It 
rents for $900. this was reasonable enough. Young likely house 
maids & men sold from 675 to 785 either would have sold here on a 
credit last fall from 1500 to 2000. but such is the scarcity of money 
that nothing will command much. If I had have had mine I could 
have doubled it (without any possible danger of loss in 12 /mo/ but 

The Pettigrew Papers 341 

there is a fate that attends all mankind and when his prospects 
appear to him most bright and clear, an unfortunate cloud 
suddenly surrounds him. And thus I am bound to conclude I am 
now at the zenith of my glory, fate has decreed it, and I most 
cheerfully submit, under a full assurance that all things are 
designed by the great Creator for some more lasting and permanent 
good. I therefore shall persue the even tenour of my way, and await 
with patience the final result of my folly for it was most assuredly a 
folly indeed, but let the circumstance sink in oblivion could it have 
only operated upon myself alone, I could have borne it cheerfully, 
but to know that it must affect them in whom I venerate beyond 
price, is a mortification to me beyond measure And although my 
money may again be returned to the last farthing. The morti- 
fication under which I have laboured from the disappointment can 
never, no never, be healed, and will justly be remembered by me as 
long as I have an existence 

Had the news have come to my ears before my departure, it 
would have been a mere bubble in comparison to the effect it had 
upon me at this remote distance from the bosom of my family, (and 
I may say Land of strangers) They may brook it if they choose and 
can act with me in like manners but I do assure them they shall 
find me to the end as unbending as the mastiff oak and no 
satisfaction will answer until the last cent is paid. I am now with 
William Norcom who with Fred [Norcom] appears to be doing a 
fair business all of which and families are well, I presume M^^ 
Alexander will have left before this reaches you. I hope he may not 
be disappointed in his imaginary views of these represented 
regions of bliss 

Real estate sells in this place higher than in the City of Newyork 
there are many acres of unimproved lots been sold here as high as 
20,000 Dollars and which will cost 5000 more, to level the hills 
before a suitable place can be made to set a respectable building up 
There is one Gentleman here building 16 Houses that will cost 
when compleated $12,000, each, and which he calculated to sell the 
[insueing] fall at 25000 each but as all operations here are and have 
been carried on upon the credit system. These hard time has 
compelled him to abandon them, and the workmen has quit and 
gone home, without their pay and will no doubt be seriously injured 
as the lots were under mortgage for the purchase money, there are 
many operations of this kind here and a man hardly knows when 
he can make a safe contract 

I took a stroll to look at the speculations made by Benjamin 
Halsey of Halifax. He (agreed) to pay $19500 for 2 lots a part of 
which sum he paid in cash say $3500. which sum I consider the full 
value of both lots, but I can get no one here to agree with me in 

342 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

opinion, but I will venture to say that at a call sale this would not 
commad 5000 and I would agree to bet that sum of it. 

We shall see in the course of 18 months how things go on here. I 
think if I could get myself comfortably located here I should with a 
great deal of pleasure do so. but under the present circumstances. I 
cannot do so. W^ Norcom is about to put up 11 houses the frames 
are now here already mortised and fitted one of which he says that 
I may have at cost and will give me ground to put it on. which is 
more than I could ask. But the location does not suit me and unless 
I can suit myself I will not come to the place. I can hire my negroes 
out here for $30 pr month the year round and women @ $20. but 
every species of labour is as high in proportion and at certain times 
they are high to criminality. The vegetation here are the same as in 
our state but spring earlier and as abundantly I see plenty of white 
clover in the woods 8 inches high at this time and as to the fertility 
of the soil there is no doubt even in the uneven land, the only 
advantages I can see is in the climate and ease of cultivation. 

I shall consider well before I take a certain start. Eno M Hassell 
has bettered himself much I think his and the land around him is 
as good as any I have seen since. I advised his brother to come out 
forthwith and buy the tract adjoining Hassell as the price was $3 
per acre 50 of which I would not give for the whole of Second 

My mind has undergone no change since I last saw you taking 
every thing in a general mass and giving true ballances, every 
thing here depends upon the success in speculation many of which 
will fall in the general wreck of ruin, that must take place with in 
the next 18 months. Then will be the time for money to be used to 
the best profitable advantage and I shall use my efforts to return 
and come prepared to mingle in the strife. If I can meet with any 
success at home neither can the Banks or the next crop avert the 
calamity, there are not less than 3 Millions of Dollars to be 
collected here and where specie daily is demanded from the Banks 
for all its paper & this money must be raised in cash. I am well and 
can but hope you may be in the enjoyment of the same blessing 

Yours Truly 
J B Beasley 

E Pettigrew Esq 

[Addressed] Ebenezer Pettigrew Esq'' 
Washington County 
Cool Spring P.O. 

The Pettigrew Papers 343 

Charles Lockhart Pettigrew to Ehenezer Pettigrew UNC 

Newbern May 26th i837 

Dear Father 

I arrived in this place on Tuesday last and will leave to morrow 
with my sisters. I left Plymouth in company with Judge Toomer,^ 
<and> who continued with me untill we arrived in Raleigh. From 
Raleigh I continued to Chapel Hill on the next day, brother 
William is in good health and is willing to remain in Hillsboro 
during the fall. I left $100.00 with him which he said would be 
enough untill September or some where about that time. In the 
evening of the next day it rained so I could [not^ go to H. untill the 
next morning. On that day Johnston complained of being unwell, 
Dr Webb^ was passing by the hotel and I concluded to call him in; 
he said he had a slight fever, but gave him no medicine the next 
day he was so well that I thought I might leave him Accordingly 
<on the next day> I left for Newbern. I gave Mr Bingham $100 for 
the use of Johnston and selected a place for my sisters. I am very 
much pleased with the place I could not have got a better M^s 
Waters is the name of the lady who takes them she has a very small 
family and I think will attend to them well she does not wish a 
servant and I think /it is/ as well, not to send Lidia. 

The family are all well here Mary and Ann look as well as I ever 
saw them, Ann looks in exceedingly fine health. There seems to be 
little reason to expect a return of her disease Aunt Mary says she is 
willing that Lidia should go home: Lidia herself is very desirous to 
go home to see her children and Aunt Mary says she does not like to 
detain her. I think that she will need her, because uncle Charles is 
going to send his servant with Fred up the country and she will 
thus loose too servants from the family. I therefore write you to let 
you know in order that you may do for the best. I leave Newbern for 
Hillsboro to morrow morning I cannot tell at what time I shall be 
able to get home, but it will be as soon as possible 

I will take the barouche; Grandma and the family send their love 
to you 

Your affectionate son 
Charles L Pettigrew 

Johnston is of course at M^s Norwood's; the blank Bills of lading 
are procured [torn] 

{Addressed] Hon. E. Pettigrew 
Washington Co 
N. Carolina 

344 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

'John Duncan Toomer, class of 1802 at the University of North CaroUna, was 
judge of the superior and supreme courts of North Carolina. He was a 
university trustee in 1821. Battle, History of the University , I, 168, 279-280. 

'^James Webb (1774-1855) was a noted pioneer physician of Hillsborough. 
After studying at Jefferson Medical College, University of Pennsylvania, he 
established himself as a physician and merchant. He was a member of the 
board of trustees of the Hillsborough Academy from 1804 through at least 1839, 
serving as guardian for many boys, boarding some in his home, and sometimes 
assuming their financial responsibility. He was also an instigator and 
"patron" of the Burwell Female School in Hillsborough, where Mary Pettigrew 
and Mary Bryan studied, Mary Clare Engstrom, manuscript sketch of Webb for 
publication in projected volume of Powell, DNCB. 

Partnership Agreement UNC 

[May 31, 1837] 

Whereas Ebenezer Pettigrew and Josiah Collins Jun^^ have entered 
into Co-partnership for the purpose of cultivating silk and whereas 
such culture is to be at the joint expense of both parties equally, 
both as it regards Investments in Land or Stock — Therefore, this is 
to certify, that in the event of Death or Accident to either party, 
before the necessary completion of the papers of Co-partnership, 
that the purchase of Lands or Stock is to be settled at the mutual 
cost of both parties, and this paper writing is to be held and deemed 
conclusive of such obligation, so to settle on the part of both Said 
parties. And to the faithful fulfillment of the foregoing agreement, 
we bind ourselves each severally to the other, our heirs, executors, 
administrators, assigns, in the Sum of Four Thousand Dollars 
under our hands & seals this 31st May 1837 

E Pettigrew seal 

Josiah Collins Jun^ seal 

John Williams to Ebenezer Pettigrew unc 

Charleston June 29—1837 

Honi E Pettigrew 

Dear Sir 

The Schr E. Hardy not yet arrivd and have this effected 
Insurance on your corn valued @ $2,000 @ 1 pr ct premium, in 
doing so I may have done wrong as you do not order Insurance, but 
supposing you might possible overlook^ it, and not knowing 
whether it is your wish or not I preferd acting on the prudent side 

The Pettigrew Papers 345 

The navigation as you know about Ocracock is a very dangerous 
one and within the Past 3 months, 7 cargoes of corn have been lost 
there bound to this place, and the North. If I have done contrary to 
your wish and custom it will I assure you afford me pleasure not to 
make charge of premium in the Sales should the vessel arrive 
Safe — Our market is nearly bare of corn and hope to obtain a good 
price for yours on arrival say 125. to 128.^ the stock now on hand 
does not exceed 5000 Bushels. 

The demand and price must continue fair through the balance of 
the season as much will be wanted by Government for the Indian 
War — 

in haste 
Your frd 
John Williams 
[Addressed] Honi E Pettigrew 

Cool Spring P. Office 
Washington County 


John Herritage Bryan to Ehenezer Pettigrew a&h 

New Bern July 5 1837— 

My dear Sir, 

I returned from Raleigh a few days since; during my absence, I 
went to Chapel Hill & attended commencement there — I was with 
William he was well & said he sh^ go to Hillsbo — in a few days — I 
heard from the girls, they were very well; I sh'd have been much 
pleased to see them, but was indebted to a friend for a seat in his 
carriage to the Hill, & had to return with him — the stages were 
much crowded. — 

I purchased M^" Badger's residence in Raleigh, it is about 400 yds 
N.E. of the State ho: & near M^s Polk's.— The lot is an entire square 
containing 2 acres & has a great many conveniences — the water is 
excellent & the situation very healthy. — I am entitled to the 
possession on the l^t of Jany. next & we wish to move in in Jany, if 
conveniently practicable. — I am to give $5000. in instalments, to be 
secured by notes with good security — Will you do me the favour to 
sign with me? — You will be able to visit us very conveniently by 
steam boat & rail road. — 

Charles [Shepard] is absent on an electioneering tour. He 
hesitated long about coming out, & I fear came out rather late. — 

William {Shepard] did not settle the estate while here, nor make 
any payment on account — He stated that his funds were in stocks 
& he could not sell unless at a great sacrifice. — 

346 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

M^s Shepard has determined to move to Ral^ if she can get a 
house — James Shepard has already gone there, to commence a 
circuit. — 

We are all tolerably well — Charles & Octavia have had fever — & 
M»"s Shepard is complaining. — 

Mrs Bryan begs to be affectionately remembered, to you & 

Very truly 

yr friend relative 

Jn. H. Bryan 

P.S I enclose the notes for my purchase — the town [New Bern] 
property was divided when W^ was here and the ground on Craven 
Street below the Merchant's Bank, nearly opposite the brick stores, 
was divided between, Mary & your children. — 

[Addressed] Hon: E. Pettigrew 
Cool Spring 


John James Pearson^ to Ehenezer Pettigrew unc 

Mercer Penna July 9th i837 

My dear friend 

Your very kind letter of the 22nd May arived safely early in June 
and gave me many mixed sensations of grief and joy — grief at the 
picture you draw of the desolation of your feelings and your once 
hapy home, feelings which you doubtless have heretofore found it 
impossible to eradicate or overcome, joy at your finding your 
family in health except your little favorite daughter who I hope is 
long ere this enjoying that same best boon of providence 'good 
health.' — I fear from your statements last winter as well as the 
descriptions in your letter that your location is too unhealthy, that 
much of the sickness endured by your family has arisen from your 
local position, if so I should rather abandon your fine fertile lands 
and rich meadows and take up my abode on the sandy pine covered 
hills of North Carolina, — yea! even of Nova Scotia, than abide 
there the season through, the anual attacks of bilious fever must 
undermine even the strongest constitution, how much then must 
the gradually forming system and feble bodies of children suffer 
from such an anual affliction, persons raised in sickly vicinities 
are subject to attacks such as you speak of your daughter suffering 
from and in some parts of our country particularly on the gulf of 
Mexico probably not one fourth of the children are raised to 

The Pettigrew Papers 347 

manhood. I sincerely rejoice with you at the returning health of 
your daughter and hope you will take the course proposed of 
sending her from your beautiful but I fear sickly plantation and 
pleasant lake to the more healthful atmosphere of the mountains. 
If you desire to perfectly restore your own health and that of your 
family I would beg leave to suggest a voyage or journey to the north 
this summer and in that case if you could be induced to visit our 
great western lakes your humble servant might promise himself 
the pleasure of once more meeting one who from a comparative 
short acquaintance he hopes to make a long and steadfast friend, 
in fact nothing would give me more sincere and heartfelt pleasure 
than to have you located for a few weeks of our healthy cool & 
pleasant summer beneath my humble roof — M^^ Pearson would 
also greet you as a most welcome guest her feelings being strongly 
enlisted in your favor by my previous description and those 
impressions greatly strengthened by reading your letter which you 
might almost certainly have known I would show her — should you 
ever be induced to visit our poor northern slave hating region of 
Pennsylvania take this as a standing invitation, most truly, 
cordially, and sincerely given. The subject of abolition is now 
rarely spoken of in this country the people having something of 
more immediate interest to engage their attention, having troubles 
of their own they now cease to trouble their neighbors or take on 
themselves the immaginary troubles of the negroes. I say im- 
maginary because even the abolitionists with us will generally 
admit that so far as respects animal comforts the slave is better off 
than the free negro or poor white, but they have not liberty!! 
"liberty the best boon of good to man" and poor fools they 
immagine the slave spends his day of labor and night of sleepless 
sorrow pining for liberty, a feeling he never possessd, a blessing he 
never enjoyed & is totally incapable of realizing — their idea of 
liberty is the same as that of the newly imported Irishman who 
knocked down the first man he met and swor he was in a free 
country & had a right to do as he pleased, their liberty is mere 
licensiousness — miserable indeed will be their situation and that 
of the whites whose lot is cast amongst them the day they are 
emancipated — the abolition fever has not infected more than one 
tenth man or woman in Penn^ but I am sorry to find it rather 
increasing & extending in New England — the intelligent and well 
informed in all parts of the United states are opposed to it but we all 
know they constitute but a small portion of the great mass — the 
time may and probably will soon come when it will be made a 
political question in many of the non slaveholding states, in 
Pennsylvania the attachment to the union is such that so long as 
the people are or can be satisfied the peace of the country will be 
endangered by any action of congress on the subject the party will 

348 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

always be weak, one session in congress will convince any man 
both of the danger, folly, & impropriety of agitating the subject. I 
think the next congress will be less trouble than we were, they will 
have sufficient real ills to remedy & will probably abstain from 
meddling with immaginary ones. — what they will do for the relief 
of the country it is impossible for me to say or even conjecture — 
party pride will prevent the Jackson men from coming out like men 
acknowledging their errors and admitting the old roman the 
greatest & best, did not know all things, that he showed more of the 
general than the statesman in destroying the U.S. bank, for 
disguise it as we will, atribute the failure & universal bankruptcy 
of the country to what we may the destruction of that institution 
was the remote yet certain cause of all the present embarressments. 
had it been suffered to flourish the thousands of state banks with 
their millions of notes would never have existed — without them 
there would have been none of the overtrading which the adminis- 
tration now complains causes the distress and the whole business 
of the country would have progressed in the same smooth rational 
and safe manner it did from 1824 till 1834 a time of unexampled 
prospertity in the U.S. — but the bubble has burst and already the 
knaves and fools who caused it are endeavoring to turn public 
odium from themselves and throw it onto that very instituon 
which was one principal cause of <their> our prosperity, the cry 
here is that if Penn^ had not chartered the U.S. bank the other 
banks could have continued a specie redemption of their paper in 
addition the gold humbug is taking vastly with our simpletons, 
they contend the whole business of the country could readily be 
done with gold & silver, that bank paper is useless and a mere 
scheme of fraud — and that had the U.S. bank continued as in 1832 
our currency would have been no better than it now is — that 
general Jackson would have introduced a specie currency and was 
taking rapid measures to bring it about by causing heavy importa- 
tions from abroad, as the French indemnity &c &c now we all know 
that at the time of that importation bills on France were worth 
three to five per cent advance and tl" e persons who were to receive 
the money beged to have it remain there but it was imported at 
considerable expense which with the premium lost occasioned a 

clear loss of at least six per cent to the poor d Is who were before 

receiving about 33 per cent on their <losses> claims, but what of 
that if General Jackson could say to the poor cajoled fools of the U. 
States 'that he had caused the indemnity to be imported in specie' 
and now to cap the climax they are paid not with a draft on France 

worth now 5 per cent but on a deposit bank not worth a d n! — 

one of Jackson & Reubens pets! — but this is a subject on which I 
should never write as I run wild and never know when to cease, in 
fact I agree with you that this country had better have paid 
General J. $25,000,000. than to have elected him president. I go 

The Pettigrew Papers 349 

further — it would have been better for the U. States that New 
Orleans had been burnt & pilaged by the british than to have had 
such a curse on us for the last eight years, the pecuniary loss to the 
country would have been less and our beloved constitution would 
have been spared the many rude shocks & wounds it has received, 
wounds which in the end will probably cause its death unless the 
party in power can be displaced and the presidents be overruled 
and by the universal voice of public opinion utterly and forever 
condemned — but I can rejoice with you that so far as respects 
myself I stand out of the reach of j ecuniary dificulties. I cannot 
even loose but must make by the present embarrasments. they 
bring a rich harvest to the sickel of the practising lawyer, we have 
the misfortune to live on the vices, follies & losses of mankind. I 
have so managed as to become in a manner independent — that 
is — what is so considered in a poor country — and you know all 
things are by comparison — twenty thousand dollars here is a 
greater fortune than an hundred thousand in the cities — the 
embarrasments greatly increase my business, in fact I have 
latterly had so much to do that it has prevented a more prompt 
answer to your letter which is my only apology for leaving it so 
long but if I do not soon come to a close you will be sorry I had not 
been busyer, left it longer, or omitted it alltogether! as I have 
inflicted a prety great task on you to read it. You must not for a 
moment suppose from the above that I rejoice in the misfortunes of 
my fellow citizens as afording me the means of bettering my 
pecuniary situation, God forbid! I feel just as does the humane 
physician in times of general sickness and would most cheerfully 
forego the advantage of making money that others might suffer 
less — all my regret is that the supporters of the 'greatest & best' are 
not the sole sufferers — but unfortunately the generals blessings 
like the rains of heaven fall alike on the just and the unjust, on 
friends & enemies — in fact his enemies suffer most as his friends in 
Penna are generally composed of that class who have nothing to 
loose, many of the wealthy & respectable formerly belonged to his 
party but have long since forsaken him & his nuisances — his letter 
in reply to Judge [Hugh Law son] White which I have just read caps 
the climax of his lies and iniquity, but the credulous fools of this 
country will believe his word in preference to Judge Whits oath, so 
goes the world — if a man can get his name up he may lie with 
impunity. — 

But I have again got on the never ending topic and must break 

M^*s Pearson altho a total stranger sends her respects to you. I 
hope to hear from you again when at leisure and believe me 
sincerely your friend. 

Jno J. Pearson 

350 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

Hon E. Pettigrew 

N.B. A word as to the weather & crops — we have had continued 
rain with not more than one days intermission for six weeks, our 
farmers have rarely got their corn worked the first time, we plant 
last of May our wheat crops look bad, if dry weather does not soon 
come will fill badly and harvest will not begin before the first of 
August, nearly a month later than usual. 

[Addressed] Hon Ebenezer Pettigrew M.C. 

Coolspring Washington County 
North Carolina 

1 John James Pearson (1800-1888), an attorney and later a judge, served as a 
Whig member of Congress from Pennsylvania, December, 1836, to March, 1837. 
Biographical Directory of Congress, 1437. 

William A. Dickinson^ to Ebenezer Pettigrew a&h 

East Wetumpka 21. July 1837. 
Hon: E: Pettigrew 

Dear Sir 

Since I had the pleasure of seeing you at Lake Phelps I have 
enjoyed good health, trusting this will find you and your family all 

I left Coolspring on lO^h May via Norfolk to Mobile in 14 days, 
from Charleston to Augusta I saw no good Land. Augusta to La 
Grainge thro: Georgia & part of Florida to Pensacolla from thence 
to Mobile. Augusta looks well & Trades considerable from Augusta 
to Pensacolla I saw no good Land, poor high white sandy piney 
Land, the Country around Pensacolla is covered with scruby pines 
& sand as white as silver, but a very pleasant and healthy place. 
Mobile as a Commercial City stands in a good situation and looks 
well, it is cool in summer in consequence of a breeze from the Bay 
every day, but I found every thing in the way of trade extremely 
dull. Goods selling in many instances at less than first cost, I 
stayed at Mobile 1 month when I met M^^ Douglas from N. Orleans 
so I made up my mind to go to the Wetumpka's up the Alabama 
River, distance 350 Miles, [by] Steam Boat, This town contains the 
rise of twothousand Inhabitants, it is divided into three parts. 
West. East & North, Wetumpka, east & west are divided by the 
Fallas [falls?] of the head of the Alabama River, by a very fine 
Bridge of 900 feet, supported by piers about 90 feet from the bed of 
the river, the west side is more level than the east & north towns, it 

The Pettigrew Papers 351 

being surrounded by high hills and deep gullies, there is an 
extensive view from the top of the highest as far as the eye can 
reach upon the whole it is the prettiest place I have seen in all my 
travells, this being the head of navigation all the merchandise 
from the interior flows thro: this place, there are no good land 
nigher this plance than 20 miles, as I have been here only a few 
weeks I do not pretend to in this to give you a satisfactory account 
of the place, only the situation as far as regards its locality is very 
advantageously chosen, both as regards health, and trade, this 
river is navigable from Mobile to this place at all times of the year 
and entirely free from danger in its navigation. I can go from this 
place to New Orleans in 4[V2] days at an expense of 35 Dollars: upon 
the whole I am at present well satisfied with this place, we have a 
market every morning for Beff. Fish. Poultry etc. etc., corn is 
selling @ 11/2 $ pr Bushell. Flower 8(P p lb. Green Oats 3$ p 100 lbs 
Bacon 16 & 18%. Sugar 12y2. Coffee 18%. Rents for stores range at 
250 to 1,000 p annum, there now building about 10, or 15, New Store 
Houses, all of Brick of the very best description. I have to pay 240$ 
a year for a small place. Boarding 2$ p Day. I board myself it does 
not cost me more than 8 Dollars p mo & I live better than I do at the 
Teverns. for the present I have given you all the News, ("no say I 
pay 10 Dols. for Town Tax. & 4 Dols for State Tax"). I should like to 
know if the post office business is fully settled, and how Hardy H: 
Phelps gits on in the Office. If you have any opportunity in sending 
to Coolspring please let my wife know that I am well, give my kind 
remembrance to M^^ Charles Pettigrew. M^^s D. Davenport & M^ 

When I left Plymouth I thought I would go thro: Washington & 
pay for the Whig N: Paper, but not going that way I was prevented 
from doing so. shall be glad to hear how all the elections are going 
on in N.C. shall be truly happy to hear from you soon the crops 
looks well, principally corn, the weather very warm. I suppose it is 
so with you, I now thank you for your kind friendship, wishing you 
& your family health & happiness, and am 

Dear Sir 
Yours very Respectfully 
William A: Dickinson 

W. A. Dickinson 
East Wetumpka 

[Addressed] Hon: Ebenezer Pettigrew 


352 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

^William A. Dickinson was postmaster at Plymouth until he left to better his 
fortune, first in Pennsylvania and then in Alabama. This letter is another 
illustration of the westward movement. Dickinson's letters to Ebenezer 
Pettigrew from Pennsylvania have been omitted from this volume; they are at 
the Southern Historical Collection. 

William Shepard Pettigrew to Ebenezer Pettigrew UNC 

Chapel Hill August 28th 1837 

Dear Pa 

You will no doubt be surprised to receive a letter so soon after the 
one I sent the other day. I am sorry I did not let the other letter 
contain the object of this. The merchants are going on to the North 
some time next month, and as I will need some money before I 
leave here, it would be best to send the draft immediately in order 
that they may cash it, for if it were to come after they leave I would 
find it difficult, I fear, to get it cashed on Chapel Hill. It will take 
about forty or forty five dollars to square me off entirely, supposing 
that I remain here until the middle of October. I hope you will not 
think I have been extravagant I assure /you/ I have been any 
thing else but that. I have been as careful as I could be. And as I am 
now about to come home and close my school-boy expenses for- 
ever. I can say with truth I have not spent one dollar since my first 
arrival on the Hill which I do not sincerely believe was well laid 
out. I have recovered from my cold. I hope you and brother Charles 
are in good health. Please give my love to brother Charles. 

Your affectionate son 
Will S Pettigrew 
[Addressed] Hon E Pettigrew 
Cool Spring 
Washington Co 
N. Carolina 

James Alfred Pearce to Ebenezer Pettigrew a&h 

Washington Sept 6th 1837. 

My Dear Sir 

I reached this place the day before Congress met and have 
already fixed myself in a pleasant mess and at a most capital 
house. — M>^s Dyers opposite the old General P Office and next door 
to that cold blooded scoundrel Amos Kendall.^ The house is small 

The Pettigrew Papers 353 

but very comfortable — the rooms spacious though few and ex- 
quisitely neat. We have two parlours four chambers and a small 
spare room for a friend — and the Mess, Bayard, Milligan, Philips, 
& myself control the house. — Won't you come see us? If nay, will 
you be glad to see me? — for I have talked with Charles Shepard and 
partly agreed to make an incursion into the Dismal when the sickly 
season shall be over. In this too I am serious 

When the Session is a little more advanced I shall take occasion 
to tell you my views of men and things. — This morning after 
writing the above I went to the House and after a Session of 4 hours 
we succeeded in electing a printer to the House — Blair and Rives^ 
are ousted and the Editor of the Madisonian is elected by the votes 
of 90 whigs and 22 or 23 conservatives. Gales and Seaton^ will do 
the printing. For Allen"^ is not prepared to it as yet. This is a great 
point gained. The defeat of the Globe is a rebuke the spirit of 
levelling and disorganization throughout the land — especially, 
coming, as it does, from a H. of Representatives which had just 
elected an administration Speaker. I do not however anticipate 
any benefit from the meeting of Congress — I mean any immediate 
remedy for the evils of a depreciated currency and a depressed 
commerce. I saw M Frederick Sheppard today as also his brother in 
congress and W B. S who is now in Alexandria I expected to dine 
with me to day but the bad weather has prevented his coming up I 
suppose — 

Patton^ Garland^ Legare^ of SC and some of the New Yorkers 
<members of> with the 3 Illinois men make up the body of 
conservatives Nick [Nicholas] Biddle has a brother^ in Congress 
who moved a resolution to day that is likely to open the fountains 
of the great deep of debate — if so it will be long before the talking 
will cease and action commence — 

Present me to yr. Sons, and believe me very sincerely 

J A Pearce 
[Addressed] Hon. E. Pettigrew 
Cool Spring 
Washington Cy 
N Carolina 

^Amos Kendall (1789-1869), a journalist, was Andrew Jackson's postmaster 
general and an able member of the administration. He was instrumental in 
bringing Francis P. Blair to Washington to start the Globe, a partisan 
Democratic paper. DAB, X, 325-327. 

2John Cook Rives (1795-1864) was Francis P. Blair's partner in the manage- 
ment of the Globe. He also reported debates in The Congressional Globe from 
1833 to 1864. CDAB, 869. 

3Joseph Gales, Jr. (1786-1860), and William Winston Seaton (1785-1866) were 
publishers of the National Intelligencer. They reported congressional debates 

354 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

and published the Annals of Congress (1834-1856) and the American State 
Papers (1832-1861). CDAB, 324, 930. 

^Thomas Allen (1813-1882) established the Madisonian in Washington in 
1837. He was printer to the House of Representatives from 1837 to 1839, then 
acted as printer to the Senate until 1842. Allen served in Congress as a 
Democrat from Missouri, March 4, 1881-April 8, 1882. Biographical Directory of 
Congress, 473. 

^John Mercer Patton (1797-1858) served in the House of Representatives as a 
Democrat from Virginia from 1830 to 1838. Biographical Directory of Congress, 

'^James Garland (1 791-1885) represented Virginia in Congress as a Democrat, 
1835-1841. Biographical Directory of Congress, 930. 

^Hugh Swinton Legare (1797-1843) was a Union Democrat from South 
Carolina who sat in the House of Representatives, 1837-1839. Biographical 
Directory of Congress, 1209. 

^Richard Biddle (1796-1847) served in Congress as a Whig from Pennsylvania, 
1837-1840. Biographical Directory of Congress, 551. 

Charles Lockhart Pettigrew to 
William Shepard Pettigrew unc 

Lake Phelps Oct 9th i837 

My dear brother 

I received your letter by the last mail and forthwith proceed to 
answer the enquiry when you will come home. I commence by 
telling you that Pa left Lake Phelps on last Saturday morning for 
the City of New York where he will be detained a few days on 
business vis purchasing some articles for M^ Davenport and 
himself and will proceed immediately to Hillsborough. He expects 
to reach home with you Mary Johnnston and Nancy about the last 
of October or the first of November so you may hold yourself in 
readiness about a fortnight from the date of this letter. Pa will pass 
through Newbern but his stay there will be short. You doubtless 
feel some anxiety to be at home. Things move on here in the old 
Style except that now and then a refractory negro has to be taken 
care of alias put in irons. Your man Gabe has become quite 
incorrigable and was sent to me the other day from Belgrade to be 
ironed: which I accordingly did. You must allow me to say I am 
much obliged to you for your description of commencement and I 
am much pleased to see my "Alma Mater" on the improving list. I 
hope she will continue to improve. Hooper^ has accepted an 
appointment in S. Carolina I believe. 

You mention Miss Penelope Skinner and her admirers; I learn 
that her conduct has not been without censure in her affair with 
Standin. I pretend myself to know nothing about the case and 
there is but little confidence to be placed in the flying reports we 
catch about the country. I read the greater part of your letter to Pa 

The Pettigrew Papers 355 

and from your mentioning the names of only two of Miss P's 
admirers he felt desirous to ask if you were not one of them. I told 
/him/ I could not inform him, he could better ascertain by asking 
you when he saw you 

You mention the name of Sam Sawyer^ I think he seems to be 
taking rather an ambiguous part in Congress during the present 
session, I have not examined his votes particularly, but he seems to 
be very often opposed to the whigs. 

You wish to know whether Nash^ is under any obligation to visit 
me this winter. You give me the first information of the fact that 
Nash will be in Edenton during the winter and I am not aware that 
he intends to come to our side of the Sound at all. 

You will be much pleased when you see M^ Davenport's residence 
it is <a> small but comfortable and very roomy for its capacity he 
has it painted very neatly and the plastering is done /in/ a very 
good style. He will be very well situated when he goes home to live 

I shall see you before you can answer this letter 

truly your brother 
Chas L. Pettigrew 

P.S. You would much oblige me by giving my best respects to M^ & 
M^^ Bingham and request M^ Bingham to be so good as to send me 
by you a /parcel/ of his finest Carrot and Parsnip seed. I should be 
glad if you could get as many as he has to spare. 

[Addressed] For M^ William S. Pettigrew 
Orange Co 
N. Carolina 

^William Hooper (1792-1876) taught ancient languages at the University of 
North Carolina. An Episcopal clergyman, he became Baptist in 1831 and in 

1838 left the university to become professor of theology at Furman, a Baptist 
college in South Carolina. In later years he was connected with Wake Forest 
College and Chowan Female Institute, both North Carolina Baptist institu- 
tions. Battle, History of the University, I, 436-438. 

^Samuel Tredwell Sawyer (1800-1865) of Edenton was the son of Dr. Matthias 
E. Sawyer. He served as a Whig in the House of Representatives for the 1837- 

1839 session. Biographical Directory of Congress, 1565; Cheney, North Carolina 
Government, 680. Sawyer appears to have been hotheaded. In 1828 he wrote a 
letter to Dr. James A. Norcom apologizing for an undescribed affront. A 
notation by Norcom reads: "Letters of this kind are rare; but they are far more 
honourable than a thousand victories gained by treachery or the sword!!" 
Samuel T. Sawyer to Dr. James Norcom, July 2, 1828, Private Collections, Dr. 
James Norcom Papers, PC 73, North Carolina Archives. 

^Possibly this was Henry Kollock Nash (1817-1897) of Hillsborough, a 
member of Charles Lockhart Pettigrew's class (1836) at the university. Nash 
was a member of the state House of Commons in the 1842 legislative session. 
Hamilton and Williams, Graham Papers, VII, 61 7n. 

356 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

Charles Lockhart Pettigrew to Ehenezer Pettigrew UNC 

Lake Phelps Oct 26 1837 

My dear father 

I write to communicate rather bad news — the Select Capt 
Etheridge so far from arriving at New York before you got there, 
came into the mouth of the river on Friday last with her cargo 
damaged. Capt Owens came up Saturday to inform me of the fact, 
and learn what should be done, the vessel he said had sprung her 
mast and that the hull leaked so that it required the pump to be 
going half the time to free her of water. I upon consulting M^ 
Davenport thought it best to have it spread in the barn at Belgrade, 
and accordingly order the vessel to the landing, saying that it 
would be taken out as soon as she arrived there. <Mr Davenport> 
The hands went out <with the hands> on Sunday morning <and> 
but the wind being ahead M^^ Davenport concluded to return the 
same evening. The vessel got to the landing on Wednesday 
morning and the corn was to taken out that day. M^^ Davenport 
says that about 300 bushels cannot be reshiped but the rest will 
bear it when it becomes perfectly cool. It seems Capt Etheridge 
<when> went over the bar on Friday of the General Muster but 
seeing the gale in prospect he concluded to come back, he says that 
it was mere chance that the vessel was not lost; he could see 
nothing and was following another vessel that struck but drawing 
less water he went clear. He thinks that she could not have lived 
out the storm at see: as it is Cap* Owens says she will have to be 
taken up and repaired, which will cost him $100. This is quite an 
unexpected loss but I suppose it cannot be helped. 

But I have still something else to write of interest. I received /to 
day/ a message from M^^ Newberry that there was a mad dog there 
from the country, he had not killed him but /he/ was in the woods 
between M^ Collins' and your canal. I have ordered our dogs to be 
confined and will keep a strict watch for him as well as on M^ C.'s 
dogs. They might do a great deal of mischeif by biting hogs mules 
and cattle and even negroes. I learn that two children have been 
bitten by <them> those in the country, numbers of hogs have been 
destroyed, and it is a fact it seems that what ever eats of an animal 
dying of madness will have the same disease. I shall take /care/, if 
possible, that we sustain no injury from them 

Mr D. goes to Edenton <to morrow> for Mrs D. tomorrow and 
expects to return on Saturday. Notwithstanding all hindrance M^ 
Davenport is about even with the commencement of the vineyard 
sowing wheat and has gather through to long-wood except forty 
rows. The corn still gathers light and is much shrunk. I am 

The Pettigrew Papers 357 

tolerably well at present please give my love to my Grandma 
brothers and sisters and relations in Newbern and believe me your 

affecate son 
Chas L Pettigrew 
[Addressed] Hon E. Pettigrew 
N. Car- 

John M. Ashurst^ to William Shepard Pettigrew unc 

Milledgeville. Ga— Nov. 11th 1837— 

My Dear Friend, 

Your favour of last month came safely to hand: & was joyfully 
received. I am sorry that I can write nothing that would interest 
you. It may seem strange to you too that I should have nothing to 
communicate of note, & at Milledgeville too, where at least it is 
said, are the reputed talents of Ga, But it is true. Our legislature is 
in session, as usual, doing nothing. Notwithstanding we have 
elected a State Rights Governor, yet our legislature is contrould by 
soap tailism. The elections for Judges have been against us. But I 
think the shackles are fast falling from the hands of the nominal 
Union party. They, who are honest in their political tenets, are 
opening their eyes to the truth. They see or begin to see, the 
deception which has been thrown before them to lull them into 
toleration of federalism. Many who before worshiped at the shrine 
of Schley,^ Fort^ & Co. begin to doubt the infalibility of their 
leaders — I do not wish to speak in terms of disrespect of a majority 
of the people of my native state, but am compelled to tell the truth. 
You know what ignorance reigned at one time in No Ca. legislature. 
You can recollect when the powers & offices of that state were 
vested in the hands of those, who could not even define the nature 
of their constitution. So it is with us now. We have Judges & 
Soliciters who could not make out bill in a plain case of assault & 
battery — men who however honest in their intentions are incapable 
of doing justice to the laws which they construe. 

Our mutual friend M^ Lewis^ is acting as secratary to the 
Governor. Sam Blake is practising law in the middle circuit. And 
could not my friend William lend his name to Georgia? Nothing 
would afford me more peasure than to <see> welcome you to the 
state of my nativity. The inducements are great. You intend to 
cultivate the soil. Here we have in some sections a fruitful earth & 
salubrious climate combined. A romantic country where the 

358 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

imagination may play at will. Citizens generous & noble. Should 
you delight in the sport of the field, here the stag can be chased or 
as the veritable Crockett has it you may overtake any kind of wild 

I have not yet selected a partner to share with me the joys & 
distresses of life — I thought at one time I had found the being of my 
hearts desire — Young, beutiful accomplished & artless. I was 
deceived — she was a woman. And without foreswearing the sex, I 
can say, that at least it is my intention now of enjoying the 
comforts of single blessedness — My notions may change My 
resolutions may vanish before the bewitching glance of a bright 
pair eyes. — I am not infallible. 

I shall remain here about a week, when I shall return home, to 
eatonton. Write to me upon the reception of this — & believe me as 

your sincere Friend 
John M Ashurst 


W"^ S. Pettigrew 

[Addressed] W"^ S. Pettigrew, Esqr 
Cool Spring 
Washington Co — 

N. Ca 

1 Ashurst, a classmate of William Shepard Pettigrew at the University of 
North Carolina, was a native Georgian and later became solicitor general of 
that state. Battle, History of the University, I, 796. 

^William Schley (1786-1858) served in the Georgia House of Representatives 
in 1830, in Congress as a Democrat from 1833 to 1835, and as governor of 
Georgia, 1835-1837. Biographical Directory of Congress, 1568. 

^Tomlinson Fort (1787-1859) sat in the Georgia House of Representatives, 
1818-1826, and as a Democrat in Congress, 1827-1829. Biographical Directory 
of Congress, 906. 

^David W. Lewis of Georgia was in the same class as William Shepard 
Pettigrew at the University of North Carolina but did not graduate. Later he 
was a member of the Confederate States Congress from Georgia. Battle, 
History of the University, 1, 796. 

William A. Dickinson to Ehenezer Pettigrew a&h 

East Wetumpka [Alabama] 18th Dec^ 1837 

E. Pettegrew Esq^ 

Dear Sir 

I have for a long time been looking for a letter from you. I wrote 
on the 21st July — since that time I have frequently heard of you. M^* 

The Pettigrew Papers 359 

Douglas is at this place, he told me that he saw you in New York. I 
was glad to hear that you was well. I hope this will reach you safe 
and find you & your family all well. I like this place, and am sorry 
that I did not steer my course this way a year or two ago. I think If I 
keep my health. I now stand a fair chance of doing very well, I am 
so far engaged in business as will by & by answer my expectations 
at present we have no reason to complain as business is gitting 
better and a good deal now doing, this town is well situated for 
becoming of some importance, five years ago there were only a few 
Log Houses, it now contains nigh 4,000 Inhabitants with a number 
of good & large Brick Buildings being erected 

M^ Douglas has brought a large assortment of Merchandise to 
this place and is selling considerable no doubt but he will do well 

I send you a Newspaper by which you will see the present prices 
of this market. I see Corn still mantains its price at the north. I was 
sorry to hear of the storm having done so much damage I hope you 
did not suffer much at Lake Phelps as was at first anticipated, I 
hope tobe able to visit North Carolina in about six months <o>if in 
good health, when I shall be happy to see you, and will try hard to 
make you a return for your abundent kindness but you know I 
made nothing at Coolspring & since I have been at a considerable 
outlay so it will take some time and perseverance to git ahead 
again, but nothing shall be wanting on my part to try hard for it. 

Give my respects to M^" Charles Pettigrew M^* D. Davenport, 
hoping that he and M^s D. & children are well. We have had a very 
long continuation of Dry warm weather it is now cold with a few 
bitting frosts — shall be exceedinly happy to hear from you my best 
wishes for your continuation of good health and many returns of 
the season. 

Very Respectfully 
Dear Sir, 
Your obdt Sev^ 
W: A: Dickinson 
[Addressed] Ebenezer Pettegrew Esq^^ 
Lake Phelps 
Cool Spring 
North Carolina 

Charles Biddle Shepard to Ebenezer Pettigrew a&h 

Washington 19th Deer 1837. 

My dear Mr Pettigrew, 

I have received your letter and am very glad to hear that Charles 
will pay Mother a visit at Christmas; I hope that he will stay as 

360 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

long as possible, for I have no doubt that he will find it a pleasant 
trip & I know that it will be very agreeable to his Grandmother — 

The House has not yet got under way (to use a nautical phrase) 
but the abolitionist are on the alert and have already commence to 
agitate both branches of Congress. Clay & Calho[w]n had a most 
interesting discussion on Monday on this subject — & Tuesday next 
is the day fixed on to to discuss a memorial sent here from the 
Legislature of Vermont (passed unanimously) You know that I 
have long entertained the opinion that these fellows ought to be 
permitted to go as far they wish, and [thus] then the South will 
know what to expect, & may then look to their own resources — 

I have said & now say that we are deceived, that we know not 
what these men are doing, and I am determined to let the people 
know (as far as I can) what they must expect from this Govenment. 

Old Adams abused us last week in the foulest terms--the 
Southerns (like Jack) became very hot but the matter was laid on 
the table — contrary to my opinion, for I wish to know the whole 
truth — & not to be cajoled by those who wish to keep our trade & yet 
violate our rights. 

At this moment Hade of Vermont is spouting about abolition — 
He is a poor devil & deserves nothing harsher than contempt — but 
I fear that some fool will rise, & rant abut Southern chivalry when 
coolness is all important — 

Can you continue to get me a dozen bottles of the best 
Scuppernong? & can you have it sent to me at Alexandria (care of 
A. C. Cazenove)? Write me & I will endeaver to correspond 
regularly as I can — I would send you documents, but I suppose that 
your representative is very attentive — 

Very truly & affectionately 
Your brthr 
Ch Shepard 
[Addressed] To 

The Hon. E. Pettigrew 
Cool. Spring 
Washington Co 

Ebenezer Pettigrew's Tax List UNC 

Tax list of E Pettigrew in Tyrrel Co. 1838 

6850 Acres of Land valued by the assors in the 

year 1837 at $21212..00 

40 Black Polls 

The Pettigrew Papers 361 

Tax list of E Pettigrew in Washington Co. 1838 

1573 Acres of Land valued by the Assors in 

the year 1837 at ' $8000..00 

12 Black Polls 

Charles Pettigrew 1 white Poll in Tyrrel Co 

William Biddle Shepard to Ebenezer Pettigrew a&h 

Ehz. City, Jany 15th 1838 

My Dear Sir 

I returned a few days ago from a long and disagreeable journey 
through the Southwestern country. Of the very great capacity of 
that country for planting advantageously I am fully satisfied. I 
have never seen any Country where the earth produced every thing 
put into it, with so great abundance and at so little expenditure of 
labour as the middle part of Alabama. It is as different a country 
from Georgia or South Carolina as you can well conceive. 

With all these advantages however, I found the planters generally 
embarrassed, from their thoughtless extravagance and their great 
want of any thing like economy. The people in that section have 
been very much like drunkards who have been for some time 
revelling under very great excitement but have at length recovered 
from their delirium and have found that they have wasted in a 
debauch what would have lasted an ordinary life for a series of 
years. As regards our location in Alabama, it is a very advan- 
tageous one, & if well managed it must ultimately prove advan- 
tageous, I have had however sundry misgivings & much anxiety 
about Fred's [Frederick Shepard] movements, he is beyond all sort 
of doubt the hardest man to keep in the traces I have ever met with, 
he seems to have forgotten that industry and attention to business 
are indispensable requisites for success in all situations. We have 
made a pretty good crop but not as good a one as we might have 
made if the owner had not trusted too much to the overseer, under 
all circumstances however I think it better than could have been 
done in Camden. — 

The fatigue and anxiety I incurred during the last summer and 
fall, have very materially affected my health, I have been for 
several months past very much troubled with a sickness of the 
stomack which usually attacks me in the afternoon and lasts 
sometimes for one or two hours and is attended with loss of 
appetite. In the fore part of the day I feel pretty well but as night 
approaches my stomack seems to give way and I cannot eat any 

362 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

thing without a disposition to vomit. Having great rehance on your 
judgment in such matters I would be glad if you would give me your 
opinion on this subject. A physician here tells me it is a nervous 
irritability of the stomack and advises me to be cupped, having 
however a great aversion to unusual remedies I have not as yet 
adopted his advice. — 

I suppose you donot feel any regrets at not being in Washington 
this winter, I have been so constantly moving about and altogether 
so unsettled that I have not paid any attention to the proceedings 
of that august body. I see however they are at the old subject of 

Remember me to Charles & William who I suppose are both with 
you and believe me 

Yours truly 
W B Shepard 
[Addressed] Hon 

E. Pettigrew 
Cool Spring 
Washington County 
North Carolina 

Albert Gallatin Hubbird^ to William Shepard Pettigrew UNC 

Chapel Hill Feb. 12th i838 

Dear Friend: 

I have really forgotten which of us promised to write first & have 
delayed writing thus long in expectation of getting a letter from 
you But as it seems you are either in the same dilemma with myself 
or for some other cause are backward in commencing our promised 
correspondence I have thought proper to begin it myself You must 
not suspect me of indifference towards you, for you ought to know 
me too well to suppose for a moment that I could /ever/ forget one 
with whom I have spent many of the happiest moments of my life 
Indeed the remembrance of old friends is to me a Source of the 
sweetest though of melancholy pleasure It frequently conjures up 
reveries of the most pleasing nature amid severer occupations, & 
<at times> often I throw aside my books to indulge in the luxury of 
roaming in fancy over bright scenes of the past, I wish you were 
back here to share in our enjoyments. The number of students this 
session is about the same I believe as when you were here Several 
of your old acquaintances however have left Burke, ^ Edmunds, 
Peebles, Nixon & others. But their places have been supplied by 
new comers and our Society, I believe, is still as large as ever. Mr 

The Pettigrew Papers 363 

Hooper took leave of us the first of the session in a handsome 
valedictory address When published I will send you a copy of it I 
don't know yet who will deliver the next annual address Judge 
/Nash/3 has been elected & written to, but has not been heard from 
Mr McQueen'' is still here & in fine spirits. He occupies the house 
which Blake^ formerly had, & lives as secluded & solitary as a 
hermit. He seldom comes to college but on Society evenings. He 
sends you his respects & says he will write to you soon. There will 
be but little celebration here on the 22nd We held a meeting some 
time since to elect an orator for the occasion & Judge Owens was 
elected, but declined. The two Societies have passed resolutions 
that their representatives hereafter shall declaim their own com- 
positions. It is not known who will be ours, Clement^ & Pharr^ are 
both eager candidates It is very assuring to hear Clement talk on 
the subject I asked him some time since, if he would appear on the 
stage under the appointment of the faculty to speek a 'funny'? He 
seemed very indignant at the question. I believe he has the vanity 
to think he will be a representative. Quite an amusing scence 
occurred in the hall at a late meeting. During the progress of the 
debate which had rather begun to flag, Clement who had been 
sitting for some time a silent spectator suddenly rose, on the 
question being called for. & exclaimed in a passion that he was not 
going to sit there and see certain members keep the floor all night & 
he not say any thing himself He then proceded to speak something 
on the question when he said he believed he'd conclude by relating 
an anecdote He then commenced tellin[g] [torn] anecdote when the 
President (Hase) told him he was not on the subject. Clement 
replied that his anecdote did have a bearing on the question & that 
he would not be stopped unconstitutionally On being suffered to 
proceed he went on very slowly as if he had forgotten the thread of 
his story when the house beginning to laugh & the President being 
vexed at his nonsense ordered him to take his seat. Clement obeyed 
but before doing so <he> stood & stared the P. in the face, 

presenting a most ludicrous appearance. He & the P have 

since settled it amicably I have made these personal allusions in 
confidence merely to afford you amusement. You must answer this 
letter immediately. Dennis [Ferebee], & many more send you their 

[Addressed] Mr William S Pettigrew 
Cool Springs 
Washington County 
N. Carolina 

Yours truly 
Albert G Hubbird 

364 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

'Albert Gallatin Hubbird, from Leesburg, was an 1838 graduate of the 
University of North Carolina. Later he was named to the first list of county 
escheators for the county of Carteret. Battle, History of the University, I, 622, 

^James M. Burke was a student at the University of North Carolina in 1837 
and, like William Shepard Pettigrew, was a member of the Philanthropic 
Society. He died in 1840. Battle, History of the University, I, 433, 511. 

Frederick Nash (1781-1858), an attorney in Hillsborough, served in the state 
legislature and was a superior court judge from 1818 to 1826 and from 1836 to 
1844. He sat on the state supreme court, 1844-1858, and was chief justice after 
1852. CDAB, 720. 

^Hugh McQueen lived in Chapel Hill in 1836. Apparently an eccentric, he 
published the Columbian Repository at that time. Battle comments on "the 
unfortunate habits of the otherwise gifted editor." Battle, History of the 
University, I, 377. In an address at the university in 1839, McQueen deplored 
the lack of cultural development in the state. Once again in 1840 he attempted 
to publish a magazine, this one to be called the Emerald, but no copies are 
known to exist. Henderson, North Carolina, H, 672, 709. 

^Samuel Richardson Blake graduated from the University of North Carolina 
in 1834 and served as a tutor there, 1834-1835. Battle, i//storyo/^/ie University, 
I, 421, 795. 

•^This might refer to R. Alexander Clement of Franklin, Virginia, an 1840 
graduate of the University of North Carolina. Battle, History of the University, 
I, 797. 

''Walter W. Pharr of Cabarrus County received a degree from the university in 
1840. Battle, History of the University, I, 471. 

John Herritage Bryan to Ehenezer Pettigrew UNC 

Raleigh Feb. 27. '38 

My dear sir 

We arrived here last Saturday night after a most fatiguing 
journey, rendered more disagreeable by the severity of the weather, 
but thank God, we have all arrived safely. — Mrs. B. had as you 
may well suppose many & great anxieties for the children, she has 
something of the rheumatism in the head & shoulders, occasioned 
by sleeping in cold bed rooms with the glass out of the windows 

About half of our furniture is still at Waynesboro. — We find our 
place a very handsome one but it is small for our family, but may be 
added to in convenient time. — 

Mrs B. says she should be glad to see you & the children as soon 
as convenient. — 

Mrs Shepard appears anxious to come up & I should [not] be 
surprised if she comes in 4 or 5 weeks. Mary desires to be kindly 
remembered — and sends her love to the children. — 

The Pettigrew Papers 365 

Present my Respects & good wishes to Charles & W"^ — 

Very truly & respy 
yr friend 
Jn. H. Bryan 
[Addressed] E Pettigrew Esq 
Cool Spring 
Washington Co 

Ebenezer Pettigrew to Mary Williams Bryan unc 

Lake Phelps April 2, 1838 

My dear Sister, 

I have been for a long time wishing to write you but the affection 
of my eyes in the first instance and since that such a constant 
attention to business as to cause me to defer it untill now. 

My dear Mary received your kind & affectionate letter mail 
before last. It found us all well, though in this country it has been 
exceeding sickly and at no season since I have known the country 
so many deaths. It is a new disease. I think somewhat like the [old] 
plague. I hope it will disappear with warm weather. 

It gave me great pleasure to learn from M^^ B's as well as your 
letter that you had got to your new home without accident or any 
thing to regret but so much fatigue & trouble. I pray God it may be 
to your general interest & benefit. 

We are all /now & have been through the winter/ in good health. 
Charles & William have taken hold like they should, if atall. The 
two dear little Girls & Johnston are deporting themselves very 
well, but learning nothing, none of us having time to attend to 
them. I begin to grow very anxious to get them away & expect to set 
for Raleigh between the 15th & 20 of this month with them. I fear by 
going at this time (for I cannot defer it longer neither can I stay 
long) I shall not have the pleasure of seeing M^ Bryan. 

My eyes admonish me that I must quit and I will conclude by 
presenting mine together with the Love of my dear children to you 
& your dear children and believe me to be 

your affectionate Brother 
E Pettigrew 

Mrs John H. Bryan 

[Addressed] Mrs John H. Bryan 

N. Ca 

366 N.C. Division of Archives and History 

Alfred Gardner to Ehenezer Pettigrew unc 

Oakland [Tennessee] 22nd May 1838 

Dear Sir. 

I received yours a few days since, stating that you thought as 
your interest in the Loose Hatcher lands was small you thought It 
advisable to sell, I think you are correct in This opinion — Since I 
wrote you last I have visited the land and found it had been sold for 
taxes and several years due upon it — fortunately however I was in 
time to redeem it — which I done and have it now clear of 

All the Legatees but J S. & R. M Shepard & youself have parted 
with their interest, and four of the shares have been set apart to 
those who purchased from the residue of the heirs — The Commis- 
sionrs appointed to divide the land gave one grant to the applicants 
under the order leaving the other to yourself & the others just 
mentioned and one share sold by Charles Shepard, for which the 
<applic> purchaser (M^^ White I think) has not yet applied, which 
makes your int & J S. & R M.s the three fourths of the grant 

I found the land of a good quality, though broken and heavy 
timbered, and surrounded by swamps, being bounded south by the 
Hatcher & North by big Creek — 

If It were situated only five or six miles south of the river it would 
command a good price but where it is its dull sale, I think I can sell 
it perhaps this fall as soon as the embarrassments in pecuniary 
matters shall subside which I hope will not last long. 

The last Legislature of Tennessee chartered a new State Bank 
which will commence business in a few days, and although I am 
not an advocate for Banks in general yet I think the new Bank will 
commence on a good footing and will measureably relieve the 
people of the state — 

I think you had better send me a power of attorney. The manner 
of authenticating which you will see by reffernce to an act of 
Congress, I think of 1804, so that I might sell at any time should an 
oppertunity offer, I have a power from R M. Shepard & have 
written to J S. for one 

I suppose you own Vs of Penelope Shepard lands. I do not know 
what the administrator Mr. C Shepard intends doing with it. 
Though my advice would be to sell it and divide the proceeds for the 
land could not be divided conveniently and I think could be sold for 
a fair price all together. About this you can consult the adm & 
Legatees, and sh